(Bloomberg) -- Walt Disney Co. will soon begin removing programs from its namesake streaming service, the latest step in its efforts to reduce losses in that business.
Disney is going to take down programs from its original slate for Disney+, which debuted in November 2019, according to people familiar with the matter. The company has already decided not to renew the shows, but they have remained on the service up to now.
A list possible programs being cut has been circulating internally. People who worked on the Disney+ projects will be notified soon, and the shows will be pulled starting next week, said the people who asked not to be identified. The content must be removed to avoid additional costs, such as residual fees for participants.
The cuts are part of Disney’s push to make its streaming service profitable. Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy said on an earnings call last week that Disney will write off as much as $1.8 billion of programming in 2023 as it culls the number of films and TV shows on its services. The charges will mostly occur in the current quarter.
Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger returned to Disney in November after the world’s largest entertainment company reported a near $1.5 billion loss in its streaming TV business. He wants to reduce spending on shows and films by as much as $3 billion, taking a more curated approach to what’s on Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+.
Disney, like other media giants, spent heavily on new programming to attract subscribers after the launch of Disney+. The service has a heavy focus on the company’s Marvel Comics and Star War franchises.
Programs that have not been renewed this year include Big Shot, a teen basketball show, and The Mysterious Benedict Society, about orphans recruited on a secret mission.
The company aims to reach profitability for Disney+ by the end of its next fiscal year, ending in September 2024.
Disney’s decision to remove shows follows similar steps by Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. In the year since Discovery merged with WarnerMedia, CEO David Zaslav has culled over 90 programs from the company’s HBO Max streaming service, according to data collector Ampere Analysis.
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