Disney+ has continued to grow at an incredible pace, pulling in over 86 million subscribers within a year of its launch.  This has resulted in millions of children enjoying popular Disney Channel shows like “Amphibia” and “Big City Greens” on the new streaming service.

This has resulted in a drastic decline of viewers tuning in on the traditional Disney Channels, according to a recent report by Variety, the Disney Channel is down 33%, Disney XD is down 23% and Disney Junior is down 27%.

And it’s why internationally why so many Disney Channels have been shut down such as in the United Kingdom and Australia.  With more Disney Channel closures coming before the end of the month across Scandinavia and South East Asia.

It’s not just Disney suffering from a decline in viewership for its children’s channels, Nickelodeon is also down 32%, Nick Jr is down 17%, and Nicktoons is down 42%, which is why ViacomCBS is also going to be pushing more of its children’s content onto its own streaming service, CBS access, which will be rebranded to Paramount+ in 2021.

However, some channels have seen some small growth, including Discovery Family, Universal Kids and Baby First TV.

The decline in Disney Channel ratings has been happening for years, and while it’s happening across most TV channels, children’s networks are seeing much bigger declines year on year.  A couple of years ago, Bloomberg shared some details on how the children’s networks lost their audience, as kids turned to Netflix for their entertainment.

With millions of children around the world not going to school, many would have assumed that children TV ratings would have gone up, but today’s children don’t watch TV based on a corporate schedule or want to sit through commercials.  They’ve grown up with Video-On-Demand and have no concept of the idea of sitting down on a Saturday morning to watch the latest episode.

This is one major reason why Disney is going “all-in” on its streaming services. As audience habits change, Disney+ is now the top priority for the company. Throughout 2021, we should expect a decline in viewership of the main channels to continue.  With Disney+ becoming the main way children consume Disney Channel content.

Are you surprised to see the Disney Channel lose so many viewers?

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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: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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  1. Kaz December 31, 2020

    I'm really hoping Disney Channel (or at the very least, Disney Channel On Demand on Xfinity) sticks around in the US for a foreseeable future. Mainly because certain DCOMs got altered on Disney+ by either having music changes (e.g. Motocrossed, Cadet Kelly, and The Other Me) or being cropped to the 4:3 aspect ratio, despite being presented in 16:9 on Disney Channel HD US (e.g. Quints, Hounded, and The Cheetah Girls). I've been recording the DCOD prints of these movies for my personal movie collection due to how Disney+ treated them.

  2. Sasha January 13, 2021

    I'm so supersized, lost 33% of it's audience, I'm also upset cause in the last 5 months, I haven't been hearing from amphibia big city greens, or ducktales, it's just sad, they will probably lose 34% now, because, I am sick and tired of waiting for new episodes, I need to know what happens next, and then it's just sad that they lost 33% of their fans, stop playing around and make new episodes of the owl house, amphibia and big city greens, or Disney Channel can lose more