A heartbreaking update to our first report from 2 days ago.
We have no words for this. No, we do.
We thought it was VERY strange that Disney mentioned nothing at the Shareholder’s Day about their still hollow promises to add a lot more general entertainment to Disney+ this year. Still no news on a content drop or 6th brand tile. Just 3 series in February, 6 TV-MA Marvel shows in March, and… that’s it? Even with 27 of 40 Nat Geo titles on Hulu expiring?
Disney has proven yet again their complete unwillingness to provide a proper streaming service in USA. All 27 mature (really they were all TV-14 and TV-PG!) National Geographic titles that were set to expire a week after the new parental controls arrive and a week before a massive content drop of National Geographic in Canada, March 30th, are now no longer showing expirations notices.
NBC Universal Vs. Disney’s Treatment of Subscribers
The timing was too perfect, and yet they spit in our faces again and did the exact opposite of logical. The relationship between Hulu and Disney+ remains every bit as toxic as it was in 2019 with Hulu hoarding titles while co-owner NBCUniversal proudly streams most of their content on Peacock at the same time and has even just announced plans to stop next-day episodes on Hulu this fall. Comcast continues to make Disney subservient.
When it comes to Disney+, Disney appears incapable of sharing the Hulu library with Disney+ appropriately. How they STILL haven’t figured out that the service that features a National Geographic brand tile at the top of the homescreen and uses the logo in every commercial or advertisement should be the exclusive home to ALL content is flabbergasting. How they can be unlocking adult content and still not moving the library under the brand tile is befuddling.
Every time we think they can’t blow it, they do. Every time we think they’re doing the right thing, they don’t. This is not just renewing Doogie Howser on Hulu 3 weeks after Doogie Kamealoha premiered levels of idiocy. This is intentionally spiting the USA adult subscribers of Disney+. Every time we trust they’re finally going to give USA Disney+ proper content they prove us wrong.
Even if they reworked the contracts to share the content and end up adding it anyway, we feel pretty much the same. Hulu should not host this many National Geographic titles in Year 3 of Disney+. ESPECIALLY when Disney is FINALLY unlocking the TV-MA rating on Disney+ USA. Disney continues to determine that TV-PG and TV-14 titles from one of the largest Disney+ silos still belong on Hulu where they can pump extra revenue to competitor / co-owner Comcast. They don’t.
This renewal is a slap in the face of every subscriber who demands better from Disney+ and demands to be treated as if they exist. Hopefully soon, adult subscribers will wake up and leave the service en masse. We all know that won’t happen. Disney adults can’t let go.
Chapek continues to quote the ridiculously unacted upon statistic that over 50% of Disney+ subscribers are adults without kids. Perhaps he means to add “But, if you live in USA, take your 6 Marvel titles and shut up!”
We’ll see how Wednesday, March 16th, goes and hope to be very pleasantly surprised later this month, but as of now we declare Disney’s rollout plans of TV-MA (and, by extension, Rated R) titles in USA a complete failure. Aren’t they supposed to be good at marketing? Don’t they want more subscribers? One brand is not enough.
Drew Ryan is a film, TV, and Disney geek. He has degrees in English, Student Personnel Administration, and Library & Information Science from Lawrence University, Concordia University-Wisconsin, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Interested in the minutia and licensing of streaming service content, he is always publishing lists, suggestions, and advocating for Disney’s missing library to be added to Disney+. Drew subscribes to Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max, and Paramount+. You can find him waxing nostalgic over classic Disney Channel or geeking out over Marvel, CW shows, & Disney on Twitter.