Disney’s Channels: Children Are Tuning Out

www.wsj.com

Joe Flint and Ben Fritz:

[ESPN's] struggle to adapt to a rapidly changing media landscape has garnered much of the attention from investors and analysts. Meanwhile, Nielsen data show ratings have fallen significantly at Disney’s biggest brands reaching children, teens and young adults, led by Disney Channel and Freeform.
Each of those two channels has lost about four million subscribers over the past three years, bringing them to about 90 million apiece, according to SNL Kagan, an industry consulting firm.

While all the headlines point to the troubles at ESPN, this masks the fact that there are troubles all over Disney's -- and everyone's -- television empire. The shift to go direct to fans is probably the right one, but it's going to be painful for a while.

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