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TBI Weekly: Disney challenges loom

Disney StudiosDisney has had a tough week. On one end news emerged that the company is looking to cut costs, which may lead to significant job losses, and on the other a New Zealand broadcaster has claimed its deal with the group is behind a drop in its profits.

The Walt Disney Company is looking to cut around 10% of annual costs at its Disney-ABC Television arm, potentially affecting 300 jobs.

While operating income has been up, Disney’s TV division, which houses ABC and ABC Studios, has seen revenues fall more than 20% so far this year. Disney is gearing up for a launch of its own globally focused SVOD service, which will launch in 2019 and potentially offers a lucrative new route to market – one that could eventually replace cash from output deals.

Meanwhile, TVNZ has claimed its programming output deal with the Mouse House is a key factor behind an 89% drop in full-year profits.

Traditional US studio output deals have increasingly come under the spotlight, with many buyers and channels claiming they no longer offer good value for money. As the American networks begin signing their latest pilots for the 2018/19 season, the debate is unlikely to go away any time soon.

 

Also in the news…

 

Virgin Media has gained its latest TV exclusive: TNT’s Good Behaviour, starring Michelle Dockery (Downtown Abbey), Juan Diego Botto and Terry Kinney.

ZDF in Germany bought Serious Lunch kids series Operation Ouch, the CBBC human body-focused series that’s just ben recommissioned for a sixth run

Syfy launched a global rebrand, which includes an all-new look and feel across all linear, digital and social platforms and includes a new logo and typeface.

Distributor Banijay Rights has signed deals in the US, Europe, the CEE region and South Africa for Diana’s Death: The Search for the Truth in the week that marked the 20th anniversary of the death of the Princess of Wales.

Eccho Rights signed a deal with Pan Entertainment in South Korea to add Kill Me Heal Me to its catalogue of scripted formats.

Universal Kids acquired US linear rights of seasons one to five of popular tween series The Next Step.

Arrow Media landed a commission from Channel 5 in the UK, with coproduction partner Motion Content Group, to create doc Inside Balmoral.

Televisa commissioned a spanish language version of Keshet International’s Easy Money.

 

The week’s top TBI stories: