Disney gets $1.5 billion write-down for deleting content from streaming platforms

Disney is purging its streaming platforms, Disney+ and Hulu, of content ahead of a planned late 2023 merger between the two.

Y: The Last Man is one of over 30 shows that Disney is cutting from its platforms.

The Walt Disney Company will reportedly get a write-down worth $1.5 billion during the fiscal third quarter after it struck over 30 shows off its streaming platforms Disney+ and Hulu last month.

The shows, numbering more than 30, include The World According to Jeff Goldblum, Y: The Last Man, The Mighty Ducks, Turner & Hooch, Willow, Maggie, Dollface, and Cheaper By the Dozen.

The Hollywood Reporter broke this news which it attributes to a Friday filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The online publication also revealed that Disney’s move is an attempt to decrease losses that arise from streaming costs.

Earlier, during the earnings call for May, Disney’s Chief Financial Officer, Christine McCarthy, revealed that the media conglomerate will receive over $1.8 billion in impairment charges as a result of this decision.

Friday’s filing suggests she was on track. In it, the company said that it is still reviewing its content library and will remove more content during the third quarter of this year. More importantly, Disney noted that it expects to get a further write-down north of $400 million when it does this.

Although fans of the deleted shows will be disappointed, Disney has already seen improvements in its bottom line from this decision. For the second fiscal quarter of this year, the company reported a loss of $659 million.

Given the company lost $1.1 billion during the first fiscal quarter, its second fiscal quarter earnings show it has cut its losses by almost $450 million.

Ahead of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny's debut later this month, Disney reached a deal with Paramount that sees it house the first four Indiana Jones films on Disney+.

Disney’s move follows a similar action Warner Bros. Discovery. The fellow media and entertainment company struck shows like Westworld, The Nevers, Generation, FBoy Island, Legendary, The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Gordita Chronicles, and Raised by Wolves off its streaming platform Max (previously HBO Max) earlier this year.

Like Disney, Warner’s move was an attempt to reduce streaming costs and improve profitability.

Fortunately for fans of those shows, Warner licensed many of its deleted content to third-party streaming companies Roku and Tubi where they live on.

At the moment, we have no idea whether Disney will follow a similar path and license out the shows it has removed from Disney+ and Hulu to other streaming companies. What we do know, however, is that it will be a huge creative loss if those shows don’t live on in some other way.

By the way, Disney announced last month that it reached an agreement with Paramount that saw the first four Indiana Jones films available on Disney+ by May 31. This announcement comes ahead of the debut of the franchise’s fifth installment, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, on June 30.

Also, the media company plans to merge its two streaming platforms, Disney+ and Hulu, later this year.

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Tobi Oguntola

Tobi Oguntola // Articles: 661

Tobi is an avid reader with interest in everything entertainment. He also loves the big screen as it fuels his overactive imagination. When he is not reading a fantasy, sci-fi, or thriller novel, he is listening to music, watching TV, or surfing the internet. Tobi is on Steam as tobioguntola.
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