Disney CEO Bob Iger has revealed that the massive media conglomerate may soon sell their broadcast television assets. This would obviously include traditional network TV channel ABC. Iger announced the news on Thursday morning during an interview with CNBC.
The business executive just received a two-year contract extension with Disney earlier in the week. Iger previously served as president of ABC during the 1990s and then transitioned to his current role. After serving as CEO of Disney for 15 years, Iger left to take another position with the company. However, he returned to the role in the fall of 2022.
Disney exec admits company needs changes
Iger acknowledged on Thursday that Disney has issues with their traditional television channels. “After coming back, I realized the company is facing a lot of challenges, some of them self inflicted,” Iger explained on CNBC.
Disney currently owns a plethora of TV channels. This includes broadcast networks such as ABC, as well as cable television channels like ESPN. Although Iger did not exactly come out and directly say that these networks are for sale, he did reveal that the company will be “expansive” in how they think about the channels.
Cord-cutting killing traditional network TV
As a successful businessman, Iger also realizes the impact of cord-cutting. Traditional television is rapidly decreasing. Instead, streaming and digital content has steadily risen in recent years. This obviously heavily impacts linear networks such as ABC.
ESPN is, however, fairly different from ABC. The massive sports network is also experiencing a downward trend, but it still holds significant value. Nevertheless, Iger did also admit during the interview with CNBC that a joint venture with another business partner for ESPN is possible in the near future.
Assuming Disney parts with ABC, this would most likely signify an end to soccer on the network. The traditional channel is currently in over 95% of American households and has aired many soccer matches in the past. This includes FIFA World Cup tournaments, Euro Championships, and Major League Soccer.
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