Bob Iger Ready to Cancel The Disney Channel

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Disney Channel

Credit: Inside the Magic

The Disney Channel is on the chopping block as CEO Bob Iger continues to try to steer the company out of ever-increasing losses.

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger in front of Cinderella Castle
Credit: Inside the Magic

In the last several years, the Walt Disney Company has had a shockingly bad string of flops at the box office and diminishing attendance at Disneyland and Walt Disney World (at least in part due to the ongoing feud with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis).

Disney CEO Bob Chapek stepped down from the position in 2022 in the midst of controversy over the company’s stance against the controversial Florida “Don’t Say Gay” law; former CEO Bob Iger came back to the company and has been brutally cutting costs ever since.

Related: The Disney Channel Shows That Defined Each Decade

Disney CEO Bob Iger Considering Shutting Down Linear TV

Bob Iger just sat down with CNBC’s David Faber at the Sun Valley Allen & Co.’s annual conference and discussed the ongoing plans to get the Walt Disney Company back on track.

Disney's 80s logo
Credit: DAPS MAGIC

Among them is CEO Bob Iger’s openness to shutting down linear TV, i.e., non-streaming traditional cable and satellite television such as the Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Disney XD.

Iger said of the Disney Channel (and its sister channels), “They may not be core to $DIS. The business model underpinning those businesses is definitely broken,” which pretty strongly indicates that he is looking to offload them soon.

The Disney Channel May Be Sold Off

Most likely, Disney CEO Bob Iger is looking to sell the existing linear TV properties to reduce costs, much as he has already authorized the layoffs of thousands of employees, slashing budgets and costs in the billions, and raising prices across the board in Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and the other Disney Resorts.

However, that does raise the question of exactly what company they would be sold to; presumably, the main selling point of the Disney Channel is in its brand recognition and association with the century-old company.

dan benson, and jennifer stone in wizards of waverly place
Credit: Disney Channel

On the other hand, the Disney Channel does have a huge catalog of shows and original movies like Hannah Montana, High School Musical, and Wizards of Waverly Place, so the immediate plan could be to sell the rights to the actual shows to other networks.

Disney Doubling Down On Streaming Services

It is clear that Bob Iger is ready to put Disney’s eggs in the streaming services basket and considers Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu to be a critical part of the industry transformation from linear TV.

Disney Bundle, Hulu in question.
Credit: Disney

Iger said, “We would be better off having Hulu,” implying that the Walt Disney Company might be planning to completely acquire the streaming platform. Currently, Disney owns 66% of Hulu, with 33% owned by Comcast, which likely could be convinced to sell.

Related: Disney Channel 40th Anniversary Short Erupts With Nostalgia

The Disney Channel Has Been Part of the Brand for Decades

All of this being said, The Disney Channel is a deeply nostalgic and important part of the brand for many fans who grew up on its content. It is currently celebrating the 40th anniversary of its launch as an arm of the company, but it might not have many more years left in it.

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