Popular channels owned by Disney are reporting a major reduction in subscribers. The trend noticeably started in 2013 with ESPN, one of the company’s most popular channels, and in August of this year Disney CEO Bob Iger stated that ESPN had experienced “some subscriber losses.” Now, a regulatory filing posted on Wednesday has revealed that ESPN has lost 7 million subscribers in just two years.
ABC Family is down 5 million, while the Disney Channel is down 4 million. Three channels which are 50 percent owned by Disney (A&E, Lifetime, and the History Channel) have also experienced a significant loss in subscribers; A&E and Lifetime combined lost roughly 6 million subscribers and the History Channel lost 5 million.
Many are attributing this decline to the continuing popularity of streaming services, such as Netflix. Iger also alluded that some of the losses were likely caused by households opting for smaller cable packages that do not include “pricier” channels like ESPN.
However, of Disney’s primary channels, Disney Junior and Disney XD have still shown subscriber growth in the last two years. Disney’s stocks are still in good standing as well, according to an article posted by CNN Money; they sit at 26 percent this year and shares rose by 1 percent on Wednesday.