Business of Art – Disney & ESPN

Disney loses a fraction of its ESPN viewers, the media breathlessly blows the situation out of proportion so they can make money, and the never-ending discussion on “cord cutting” continues.

This is a triple threat art wise.

  1. ESPN is a cultural product
  2. The reporting on ESPN is a cultural product
  3. The inevitable discussion is not only part of the purpose of art but will also lead to even more cultural products being made

Amazing, isn’t it… how pervasive art is. It’s a snowball turning into an avalanche.

Image of a graph of Disney's stock, down nearly 4% for the day of 11/27/2015.

Walt Disney of course is one of the largest art businesses in the world… the problem for Disney is it’s an old giant.

It’s arthritic, Disney hasn’t adjusted to new forms of art or create significant new artworks to ensure their continued presence in people’s lives.

Instead Disney relies on its ins in the world of sports (ESPN) , Star Wars (to get those geeks *executive scoffing*), and it’s extremely well-developed stable of characters (Mickey, Goofy, all that).

We can see right in this moment how this relying on the old stable of art and the old method of delivering art to the consumer is becoming a bigger and bigger problem for Disney.

Walt Disney Co. dropped as much as 4.2 percent after reporting that ESPN lost 3 million subscribers in a year, reviving concerns about shrinking demand for traditional pay-TV packages and dragging down U.S. media stocks.

Subscribers at the ESPN sports network, Disney’s most profitable channel, fell 3.2 percent to 92 million at end of October, according to a filing Wednesday after the market closed.


While I’m sure Disney will come to the obvious conclusion of creating new cultural products using its existing ESPN brand and then delivering those products in the most convenient way possible, at the moment everybody is simply going to *panic!!!*


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