Disney Launches Social Media Attack, Fans Now Forced to Purchase Service

in Disney, Entertainment

The Walt Disney Company building

Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Disney is getting tactful in their fight against Spectrum, and now, they are bringing their social platforms together to attack cable service.

When it comes to Disney, the company is known for many things. Of course, their theme parks are iconic, and places like Walt Disney World Resort have created vacation empires that many dream to visit. Some even save up for years just so that they can hug Mickey Mouse, see Cinderella Castle, and ride the Haunted Mansion.

Disney Channel, ESPN, ABC logo with people watching tv
Credit: Edited by Inside the Magic

That being said, the theme parks would be nothing without the cinematic universes created by Disney.

The Walt Disney Company was founded on entertainment, and to this day, it is their intellectual property and storytelling that continue to be the guide to success for the company.

By watching movies on the Disney Channel, and getting to know the stories being told while sitting on our couches at home, many of us developed an affinity for the company. Without all of the Disney-owned channels being available, many would probably have a delayed start to learning more about the company.

Disney has since expanded to owning many cable TV networks from the classic Disney Channel to ESPN, ABC, and more. By owning such a large monopoly in the cable industry, it is easy to see how Disney does dominate cable network content, as much as they dominate the theme park space as well.

Zac Efron in High School Musical
Credit: Disney Channel

Recently, we announced that that monopoly had been decimated after millions were left without Disney in their lives, as if Thanos snapped his fingers and made it disappear.

Disney Entertainment-owned channels, including ABC and ESPN went dark Thursday night for Charter Spectrum subscribers after the companies failed to agree on terms for Charter to carry Disney programming.

Spectrum, a company representing nearly 15 million cable subscribers and The Walt Disney Co. blamed each other Friday for a dispute that has cut off Disney-owned stations to viewers on the eve of a big sports weekend for U.S. Open tennis and college football fans. The dispute between Disney and Charter Communications Inc. resulted in ESPN, ABC, FX, National Geographic and Disney-branded stations going abruptly dark on Thursday night for Charter’s Spectrum TV subscribers. ABC-TV was also cut in seven markets, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

WDW Invitational
Credit: ESPN

Both the cable company and Disney said the other side rejected short-term extensions that would have kept Spectrum subscribers’ access to the networks.

Chris Winfrey, CEO of Charter Communications, said he recognized the timing was not ideal for customers.

“We’ve almost always avoided these kinds of disputes and disruption to your service,” Winfrey said, addressing customers in a conference call Friday. “But we had to draw a line in the sand on your behalf.”

Between cord-cutting and the increased popularity of streaming, Charter says it has lost 25% of its cable customers over the past five years. So it is seeking a deal with more flexibility: allowing customers to order some Disney-owned stations without being forced to take all of them, and it wants ad-supported streaming services included so customers don’t have to essentially pay for them twice.

But Disney said Friday that its streaming and television products are not the same. Which, is true. There are many television options that do not go to Disney+ or Hulu, and many things that viewers enjoy watching live.

espn plus
Credit: ESPN+

That being said, it seems Disney is now sticking to its narrative and undermining the success of its own cable networks by tossing them under the bus in replacement for their streaming services.

Disney Channel (@DisneyChannel) took to Twitter (X) to share why the Disney+ bundle is better than cable.

No long-term contract, no hidden fees, and no clunky cable box. Signing up is simple. Go to http://hulu.com/live-tv

The post directly attacks “clunky cable boxes” and is a clear shot at Spectrum.

We also saw The Walt Disney Company (@WaltDisneyCo) share the same graphic stating, “Hulu + Live TV: How To Watch Disney Entertainment Networks and Stations Including ESPN Without a Cable Subscription https://bit.ly/3Pzq6tX”.

EPSN reposted the Tweet.

ABC also shared the graphic.

No long-term contract, no hidden fees, and no clunky cable box. Signing up is simple. Go to http://hulu.com/live-tv

All messages link to purchasing a subscription to Hulu and “live tv” which will host 90+ channels, including all which were taken away from Spectrum users due to the charter dispute.

Responses from fans were not at all understanding, as many are not looking to make the change, while others find it sad that Disney is pushing a “cable subscription” from them during the SAG strike, telling Disney to pay their writers.

This comes on the heels of Disney+, and the overall Disney streaming branch of the company, facing backlash and suffering from subscriber and financial loss.

Disney+’s Life Support Survival Attempt

When subscribers initially signed up for Disney+, they did so that they would have a library of everything Disney at their fingertips. No more would you have to purchase a DVD or find a way to watch your favorite Disney films and shows online, it was all available in one place. Then, to compete with the other big players in the streaming market like Netflix, Disney had to move past their regular content and create Disney+-specific and original content for viewers.

With this realization came a massive explosion of content that really helped transform Disney+ into one of the largest streaming services available. We have been able to see the Star Wars universe expand with three award-winning seasons of The Mandalorian, which has constantly broken records, and now, Ahsoka.

All of the different Disney+ titles surrounding the logo
Credit: Disney

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) growth for individual storylines and characters has been exponential, with so many series being created to dive deeper into different characters, which will only culminate as one massive storyline within the MCU timeline. The next big release on the Marvel side will be Loki, season two.

Recently, Disney held their Q3 2023 Earnings Call. Here we saw that direct-to-consumer sales have increased by 9%. That being said, Disney+ subscribers have dropped to 146.1 million. Disney’s goal for Disney+ subscribers was 154.8 million, so this now falls short. Disney’s “core” consumers increased by 1% — regardless, we are starting to see subscribers drop off now that Disney has begun to reduce the amount of content they are able to bring to their audience; the people paying for these services on a month-to-month basis.

Disney CEO Bob Iger continued to discuss how they have raised prices across Disney+ prices and that ad-supported Disney+ subscription service options have been purchased by 40% of users. Ad-free bundles will also be coming to the US for Disney+ and Hulu, which will, in turn, cost more as their current ad-free options do, increasing Disney+ revenue and decreasing our bank accounts for nothing added — in fact, the service had been detracting and removing content.

A hand holding a phone with the Disney+ app open
Credit: Mika Baumeister via Unsplash

Iger also announced that they’ll be cracking down on password sharing, making it impossible to split the cost of Disney+ with friends or family.

In less than a year, Disney+ will be increasing the monthly cost of its ad-free plan up $3 to $13.99 in October. Hulu, which Disney owns a majority stake in, will also increase the monthly cost of its ad-free subscription up $3 to $17.99.

We previously predicted more content that more is coming to the chopping block due to News of Disney’s “strategic realignment” which first came in March, when CEO Bob Iger announced plans to lay off 7,000 employees in an effort to cut back $5.5 billion in costs.

This came after Disney+ saw its first quarterly subscriber loss at the end of 2022. This is something we have already discussed and is likely to continue as we have seen an even further shift in the Disney+ strategy realignment with the recent service change announcements.

This new push to purchase the live TV bundle from Disney and cancel cable is yet another attempted revenue source for Disney+.

Will you be canceling your cable to purchase live TV from Hulu and Disney+?



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