Cable channels owned by Disney are losing subscribers in the millions. ESPN the most profitable of the channels has lost over 7 million of its subscribers since early 2013. ESPN as of the end of October 2015 had 92 million subscribers showed a regulatory filing by the company on Wednesday afternoon.
The ABC Family has lost more than 5 million, while the Disney Channel is down over 4 million subscribers across the U.S. over the same time.
A&E and Lifetime have lost 6 million each in subscribers, while History Channel has had over 5 million stop subscribing to it.
Some of the channels in the Disney family saw their numbers rise in total subscribers including Disney channel outside the United States, Disney XD in the United States as well as internationally and its Disney Junior channel within the U.S.
Fears over the declines in number of subscribers have been lingering a number of months for both company executives and investors.
This past August, Bob Iger the Disney CEO confirmed that some of the channels had experienced subscriber losses. ESPN he said had lost some as households have decided to subscribe to smaller packages of channels that do not include the pricey ESPN, this phenomenon has been dubbed cord-cutting.
Disney’s stock was hammered at that time. It was followed by others in the industry as well, which led some analysts to downgrade the stock.
Nevertheless, Disney has been a strong stock in 2015 with a year to date increase of more than 26%.
On Wednesday, its shares were up by 0.6% in New York, before the most recent numbers for subscribers were released.
On Thursday, the markets in the U.S. are closed for Thanksgiving and on Friday re-open. It is uncertain how most investors will react on Friday and if they will continue being spooked over the impact from the cord-cutting that is taking place in households across the country.
The smaller bundles of channels where some selection process is allowed, has helped the consumer cut down on its cable bill each month and have fewer channels that it never watches.
Earlier in November, Disney posted its earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter with $8.4 billion in net income, which was an increase of 12%.