The Walt Disney Company is reorganizing its media and entertainment businesses amid the economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The revised structure will include a new media and entertainment distribution group that handles all content Disney produces, whether it’s for theaters, TV or streaming.
“Given the incredible success of Disney+ and our plans to accelerate our direct-to-consumer business, we are strategically positioning our Company to more effectively support our growth strategy and increase shareholder value,” said CEO Bob Chapek in an announcement.
Capitalizing on the growing success of its streaming services, especially Disney+, the company will organize its holdings into three media and entertainment content groups – Studios, General Entertainment and Sports.
Studios will include Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and other theatrical and TV content for theaters and streaming services. General Entertainment handles series and long-form content on streaming services and TV networks, and Sports will focus on ESPN and ABC programming.
The company has taken a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. Disney has been forced to layoff 28,000 workers at its theme parks in California and Florida.
The studio has also had to postpone film releases because US cinemas have been closed to prevent spread of the virus. Many cinemas have reopened, but so far moviegoers have been slow to return.
Earlier this month, Regal Cinemas’ parent company Cineworld said it would close the 536 Regal cinema in the US and 127 venues in the UK.
After delays in its arrival in cinemas, the Disney live-action film ‘Mulan’ was made available on its streaming platform, Disney+. The Pixar film ‘Soul’ will head to the platform on Christmas Day at no extra charge.