The New TV Package: Consumers Tucking - Or Ducking - This Bundle?

With regard to young consumers and the TV bundle, Disney continues to look for reinvention. But is it enough?

This is a major focus for Walt Disney now -- especially with regard to a major new sports streaming platform -- along with its partners Fox Corp. and Warner Bros. Discovery.

Speaking at a Morgan Stanley media investor conference, Chief Executive Officer of Disney Bob Iger said:

“You've got a l:ot of young people who have not subscribed to the multichannel fat bundle, and you have a lot of people that used to be subscribers that lapsed. We want them in… We're trying to provide them a less expensive, more focused opportunity.” 

We can believe the latter to be true: Those subscribers, mostly older adults, who have made the switch. But younger consumers? Will they really move off of their phones, tablets, iMacs, laptops for a more traditional looking TV-video bundle that displays itself on the big living room screen?



Iger perhaps is guessing those former legacy TV bundle consumers -- cable, satellite, telco, and even virtual -- will be lured back into another type of bundle. A streaming bundle. (Marketers get to work!)

From its perspective, Walt Disney -- perhaps more than others -- attempted to sketch out a business right at the start of its entry into the streaming world in 2019, offering its own bundle: Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. 

Now almost five years later, Disney will add a piece of a new, big sports-focused, wide-content offering -- that has a working title to some, ‘Spulu’ -- a riff on the words ‘sports’ an ‘Hulu”. 

The platform will get going on September 5. Lachan Murdoch, executive chairman/CEO of Fox Corp estimates the new sports streamer is projected to hit around five million subscribers in the first year of  operation.

Perhaps not so incidentally, it’s also around that time Disney will be reporting that its highly scrutinized direct to consumer businesses will, for the first time, post profitability.

Hopefully then iffy, somewhat negative sentiment will then change in the business for consumers, Disney advertisers, and investors of legacy media companies who have started up streaming platforms over the past few years.

But if all parties aren’t ready to play ball, where will the next disruption/reinvention come from? More  unbundling for the bundle?

1 comment about "The New TV Package: Consumers Tucking - Or Ducking - This Bundle?".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, March 11, 2024 at 7:56 a.m.

    Has anyone explained to Iger that "young" consumers watch much less TV of most kinds than middle aged or older consumers? Also,  if you are, somehow, able to attract a "young" consumer you may have to face the fact that such consumers are far more likely to quickly dump you for something else than older consumers. Is chasing young viewers really a good business strategy for a TV program supplier? Maybe, in 1975---but now?

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