Disney Suffers Severe Cable Subscriber Losses

Company’s ESPN lost 7 million customers in last two years

Walt Disney Co. logo

The Walt Disney Company has lost millions of subscribers to its cable networks in the last two years, according to a regulatory filing posted by the company Wednesday.

Among the networks posting losses is ESPN, which at 92 million subscribers is down from the 99 million reported in 2013.

Disney Channel, Disney XD and ABC Family, all Disney-owned, each had 4-5 million lost subscribers over the two year period, according to the company’s annual 10K report.

The revelation of subscriber loss comes months after Disney CEO Bob Iger inadvertently sparked a massive sell-off of media-company stocks over fears of cable cord-cutting with comments about “some subscriber losses” at ESPN.

Speaking to investors earlier this month following his company’s quarterly earnings report, Iger did not back down from his previous comments regarding subscriber loss.

“There’s nothing that I would either retract or in anyway change,” Iger said, adding that what the company did was update guidance given in 2014 about ESPN subscription fees. “We also decided to be candid, I think maybe refreshingly so, about what the industry was experiencing in terms of sub losses during roughly the last period. We feel that there certainly should be no reason to panic over comments like that.”