With audiences slowly moving away from traditional linear television, cutting the cord and using more streaming services like Netflix and Disney+, over the past few years, Disney has been slowly withdrawing from its linear business, closing numerous television channels around the world, including in Europe, Asia, Latin America and beyond. 

Disney has kicked off 2024 with the closure of multiple Disney Channels on OSN in the Middle East, as on New Year’s Day.  The channels removed include the Disney Channel, Disney Jr, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild and multiple Star channels.

The Disney Channel was replaced with the Cartoon Network.   As with other Disney Channel closures in other countries, such as the UK and Australia, Disney’s original content is available to stream on Disney+. 

Disney previously worked with OSN when Disney+ initially launched in a few countries to offer a selection of Disney+ original programming, such as “The Mandalorian”, until Disney+ launched in the area in June 2022.

According to the OSN’s official social media, when asked about the removal of the channels, they replied:

We periodically review and update our channel lineup based on customer feedback and viewing trends to ensure we meet your entertainment needs. The result of the latest analysis carried out is that it is time to update the channel list and improve the entertainment viewing experience

Only this week, it was revealed that viewership of the main Disney Channel in the US has continued to decline year on year for over a decade, which is why last year, Disney CEO Bob Iger spoke about how linear television wasn’t core to their business anymore and was looking to potentially sell off some of its own channels, though he has since backtracked on that.  Disney has also been making new carriage deals with network providers, which has seen multiple channels removed from cable platforms like Spectrum.  This is expected to happen with more traditional cable providers in the United States in the years ahead, as they push to just bundling Disney+ with internet packages.

Over the past few years, the Disney Channel in the Middle East has been getting less original programming, with shows like “Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur” being exclusive to Disney+ and generally, Disney has been reducing the amount of content shown on the channels.

The closure of these channels on the OSN satellite platform across the Middle East, will no doubt encourage more subscribers to Disney+, which is helping increase Disney+ subscribers globally.

What do you think of Disney closing channels in the Middle East?  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: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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