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

The Business of Art – Disney on the Run

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 created 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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The Business of Art – Disney on the Run by Jordan Wunderlich is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


2 thoughts on “ The Business of Art – Disney on the Run

    1. True.
      ESPN costs a crap ton the last time I checked and ultimately the consumer has to pay for it.
      Which makes full cable service look less and less desirable to people because of the steep price.

      Cable providers currently pay a total of $28.32 for a few dozen channels, depending on the provider and the cable package, with ESPN taking over $6 of that. Meanwhile median price paid for each channel a subscriber gets is 14 cents. ESPN is estimated to cost $8.37 per month in 2018, an increase of 39%.Aug 5, 2014

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