Even before Disney+ launched and began taking the streaming-service universe by storm, it was not as if the world was lacking for platforms where Disney can show its original content. Children and kids-at-heart have been very appreciative of Disney Channel and Disney Junior, while documentary watchers could tune into Nat Geo. After the Fox Media acquisition, the same could be said for FOX, FX, Fox Action Movies and Fox Sports. In Southeast Asia, that also includes music-playing Channel V and more from Star. But even as Disney+ continues to spread across the world, its presence also means the departure of these classic Disney and affiliated channels from many cable/satellite networks.
That is some shocking news as told by IGN for subscribers on cable and satellite TV in Southeast Asia with access to Disney Channel and many more. Disney announced in a conference in Singapore way back in Tuesday, August 27, that 18 channels from Disney and its media subsidiaries will go away on October 1 this year. Many of these Channels like Disney Channel, Nat Geo, the Fox channels and Star TV channels have been available to SEA viewers on cable/satellite for around 20 years or even more. And soon they will all be gone.
The reason Disney gives for this step is rather pragmatic and business-oriented. They are moving away from packaging their networks in cable or satellite TV and instead want to focus on direct-to-consumer avenues. That means platforms like digital streaming like Netflix does; or rather, what their exclusive service Disney+ does. Since launching in November 2019 the platform already has 100 million regular subscribers around the world or rather in parts of the world where Disney+ is already available. In Southeast Asia, only Indonesia and Singapore can now catch Disney+ online. Malaysia and more could be next, but with Disney Channel etc. disappearing as the cost.
The 18 Disney channels and affiliates that are going to be unplugged on October 1, 2021 are: Disney Channel. Disney Junior, FOX, FX, Fox Crime, Fox Life, Fox Movies (plus Action and Family), the three Fox Sports channels, Nat Geo People, Star Movies China, SCM Legend, the two Star Sports channels, and Channel V. Meanwhile the National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild, Star Chinese Channel and Star Chinese Movies meanwhile will become streaming. The majority Disney content will fold into Disney+ when it launches in the rest of SEA eventually.
Image courtesy of AnimationXpress