Disney: A Ghost of a Memory in the U.K.

The characters in Jessie to Hannah Montana raised the kids of the 2000’s. Racing home from elementary school to find what was on Disney channel was an integral part of childhood. In the U.K., this childhood favorite is officially shut down—for good.  

     Disney+ chose to retract their productions on Oct. 1, 2020; marking 25 years on air.. Now as the 1-year mark has passed, the questions regarding just why this withdrawal was put into effect are resurfacing.  

     Disney retracted their viewers from cable in September of 2020, in the hopes of attracting more Disney+ viewers. Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior are all shut down. But every show, movie, and short can be viewed on the app as opposed to the T.V.  

     Disney failed to reach an agreement in relations to Sky and Virgin Media, according to trade publication Broadcast. Sky, owned as well as monitored by Comcast, is one of the biggest TV programs within the UK. Sky’s premium service, Sky Q, offers Disney+ to customers. Disney’s other television channels, such as National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, and even Fox, will remain on air. In addition, Sky continues to carry other family programming, such as Nickelodeon channel.  

     This strife in particular regarding airing Disney is not only apparent in the U.K. In 2019, New Zealand was stripped from Disney as well. It appears Disney is rerouting every user to their common platform, home to all of the essentials. Instead of having a sometimes rather messy process between the streamers and the streaming itself, Disney has taken matters into their own hands and created a clean, quick, personal process to get their productions on air.  

Of course, this may prompt a sort of conflict between Disney and numerous different streaming services  

     Bob Igor, previous CEO of Disney and current executive chairman, stated during a 2019 earnings call that Disney+ seems to be a, “bet on the future of this business” (referring to the business of Disney+, of course).  

     Some studios are even being shifted towards prioritizing Disney+ production as opposed to the grand scale of Disney as a whole. 

     Many seem to believe this absence from TVs seems to be on account of a dispute between Disney and its providers, yet the verdict points towards Disney+ being in that of Disney’s best interest.  

     The saddening fact that individuals and families alike now have to pay extra for this channel whilst lacking the encounter of a variety of channels seems to be the new norm. A largely controversial debate, one might begin to wonder just how permanent this deal will be. Will this extend to countries all over the globe? In doing so, might it by chance spark other channels such as Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network to do the same Disney has done?  

     These nostalgic shows and films are seemingly losing their appealing aspect to viewers and gaining favor amongst its profiteers. The U.S. might be next on the list of transfers from the channel to the app.

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