Last month, Disney announced during its quarterly financial results call in May, that it would be removing some programming from its streaming platforms, including Disney+, Hulu and Star+, as part of a review to align with the strategic changes in Dinsey’s approach to content curation.

At the end of May, Disney removed over a hundred original shows and films from its streaming services around the world, such as “Big Shot”, “Willow”, “The Mysterious Benedict Society”, “Better Nate Than Ever” and “The One And Only Ivan”.

These removals were part of a writedown in the third quarter of $1.5 billion, and today, Disney filed a new SEC report confirming these recent removals were part of an impairment charge:

As previously announced, The Walt Disney Company (together with the subsidiaries through which its various businesses are actually conducted, the “Company”) is in the process of reviewing content, primarily on its direct-to-consumer (“DTC”) services, for alignment with a strategic change in approach to content curation and as a result is removing certain content from its platforms. On May 26, 2023, the Company removed certain produced content from its DTC services. As a result, the Company will record a $1.5 billion impairment charge in its fiscal third quarter financial statements to adjust the carrying value of these content assets to fair value. The Company is continuing its review and currently anticipates additional produced content will be removed from its DTC and other platforms, largely during the remainder of its third fiscal quarter. As a result, the Company currently estimates it may incur further impairment charges of up to approximately $0.4 billion related to produced content. The Company does not expect any material cash expenditures in connection with the impairment charges related to produced content. In addition, the Company may terminate certain license agreements for the right to use content on its platforms, which would result in the removal of licensed content from its platforms and lead to impairment and/or contract termination charges as well as cash payments. The Company currently expects that any such charges and payments related to licensed content would be meaningfully less than the impairment charges related to produced content.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like this is going to be the last of the original content to be removed from Disney’s streaming services, since it is planning on writing off another $0.4 billion in produced content.  With the next batch of removals costing around $400 million dollars, it’s less than a third of the original content cut in May, so, likely, this next wave of removals might not be as large, but it still is disappointing to hear.

No details have been revealed about what might be included in the next wave of removals, but unfortunately, Disney never officially confirmed what titles were going to be removed last time, and it was only discovered due to a French streaming platform, Canal+, listing the dates of removal due to French law.

This filing also indicates that it might be terminating some licensing agreements it has in place for content, which is very vague and could also impact what content is available on Disney+, Hulu and Star+.  Disney licenses many shows and films for its platforms, some of which are just third-party content, while others are listed as originals.  This could be one way of reducing the debt on the Disney streaming services and possibly getting Hulu’s content slate sorted, before it is made available within Disney+.

So I would recommend, if there is an original that you have been meaning to watch, but have been putting it off, I’d suggest watching it as soon as you can, just encase it isn’t available much longer.  Looking at the list of content removed last month, anything that has been cancelled is much more likely to be removed (“National Treasure: Edge Of History” is the first show that comes to mind, which could fit as it hasn’t been renewed for another season).

Between the first and second wave of removals, Disney will be writing off close to $2 billion dollars worth of original content, which is very disappointing for creators, talent and fans of the shows and films.

What do you think is likely to be removed from Disney’s streaming services in the next wave?  Let us know on social media!


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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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