Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek, speaking Monday at JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s technology and media conference, said the closures come in addition to the 30 foreign networks the company shuttered last year.
Chapek said Monday that the closures will depend on contracts the company has in individual markets. Profits from some of Disney’s traditional TV networks are helping pay for programming that can run on its streaming services, which include Hulu and ESPN+ in the U.S.
Disney introduced Disney+ Hotstar in India last year. That service, which features cricket matches and other local content, now accounts for 30 per cent of Disney+’s total subscriber count of 103.6 million globally. In April, meanwhile, Disney announced plans to close a number of its sports networks in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.
Disney is set to launch another streaming service Star+ in Latin America in late August. This could lead the way for Disney to close down more TV channels in that region as well.
“We don’t want to be on the back end of that wave,” he said. “We want to be on the front end of that wave” ,said Chapek.
All of these closures will make Disney+ the main destination for content around the world, especially with the inclusion of the Star general entertainment brand.