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Disney to shut down most of its TV channels in Southeast Asia, eyes growth in streaming services

Disney to shut down most of its TV channels in Southeast Asia, eyes growth in streaming services

FILE PHOTO: A smartphone with displayed "Disney" logo is seen on the keyboard in front of displayed "Streaming service" words in this illustration taken on Mar 24, 2020. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic)

SINGAPORE: Disney will be shutting down most of its television channels in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong as part of the company's effort to further grow its streaming services. 

In response to CNA's queries, The Walt Disney Company said on Tuesday (Apr 27) it is "consolidating its Media Networks business primarily in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong", as part of the company's "global effort to pivot towards a direct-to-consumer-first model and further grow" its streaming services.

According to Variety, the channels set to be shut down include Fox, Fox Crime, Fox Life and FX; movie channels Fox Action Movies, Fox Family Movies, Fox Movies and Star Movies China. Sports channels Fox Sports, Fox Sports 2, Fox Sports 3, Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 2 will also be shut down. 

Disney Channel and Disney Junior, as well as factual services Nat Geo People and SCM Legend, will also be axed, Variety reported.  

As of Oct 1, 2021, Disney will operate a "streamlined television portfolio" that covers the Chinese language channels - Star Chinese Channel and Star Chinese Movies - and Factual Entertainment - National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild. 

"These efforts will help us align our resources more efficiently and effectively to current and future business needs," said the company. 

READ: Mandalorian, WandaVision and more: Disney+ is now in Singapore

Disney+, the company's streaming service, is currently available in two Southeast Asian markets Singapore and Indonesia. The company said it will continue to roll out the service in more markets in the region including Hong Kong this year. 

Local telco StarHub said there will be "minimal impact" on its customers, who are able to continue to watch films, series and documentaries through Disney+. 

"StarHub is Official Distributor of Disney+ in Singapore, having signed an exclusive agreement with The Walt Disney Company," said StarHub in a statement. 

SingTel said it is currently "working with Disney to understand this in better detail and assess the potential impact". 

Disney+ was made available in Singapore earlier this year, offering more than 650 films and 15,000 episodes of entertainment content. 

Source: CNA/lk(rw)