After 15 years, “Dancing with the Stars” continues on from ABC … and goes to Disney + (DIS) for a two-season order.
The shocking move, announced last Friday, represents a major milestone in the streaming wars as the dance competition series becomes the first live-streaming reality series in the United States
The NFL’s “Monday Night Football” is part of the network’s plan for the coveted 8-10pm ET season.
“After over 30 seasons of the program on ABC, including two spin-offs, ‘Dancing with the Stars’ will move from ABC to the autumn, so that the network can showcase several ‘Monday Night Football’ games as well as develop and invest. future programming, “ABC said in a statement.
Experts in the space believe that this is the right move for the new streaming platform, which has quickly climbed up the ranks after two and a half years on the market.
“What should people absolutely tune in to? And what can people expect to tune in to? That question alone helps to unveil many of the variants and direction of this decision,” said Anthony Palomba, professor of business administration at UVA’s Darden School of Business.
Palomba, which specializes in entertainment consumer behavior, went on to explain that a live sporting event, such as football, often takes precedence over cable because of its transience.
“There’s not that much pressure to immediately watch ‘Dancing with the Stars,'” the professor continued, adding that “Monday Night Football’s” advertising appeal and rating consistency probably served as additional catalysts for the decision.
In context, NFL Media reported that their nationally broadcast games had an average of 17.3 million viewers per game. games (both TV and digital) in 2021, an increase of 17% from the 2020 season.
By comparison, season 30 of “DWTS” saw viewers drop to just 4.89 million – a marked drop from its highs in the 2010-2011 season, when nearly 21 million viewers tuned in, according to Nielsen. (Interestingly, the latest season is still ranked among the top 5 series without a script with adults aged 18-49.)
Although “DWTS” has struggled to climb back to its previous ratings dominance, Palomba told Yahoo Finance that the reality TV show has a more diverse, female-driven audience compared to the older NFL demographic – a unique element that streamers can better utilize than cable providers.
“Women often make very big decisions in households, including which streaming service to choose, so I think it’s very desirable for Disney to secure streaming programs that appeal to women and probably women in households who are inclined to do some of the these decisions about subscribing to streaming services, “he explained.
Palomba stressed that it is increasingly important for Disney to add franchise series beyond just Marvel and Lucas movies, adding: “This is a natural fit to migrate this audience to Disney + while making room for appointments on ABC.”
Streaming allows for further refinement of consumer segmentation and further tailored experiences for the audience …Anthony Palomba, UVAs Darden School of Business Professor
Disney hopes the hardcore fanbase of “DWTS” will lead to more users over time, especially as subscriber growth slows across the sector – a fact that hit rival Netflix particularly hard in its latest earnings report.
Netflix said it expects to add 7 million paying members this quarter, less than the expected 7.82 million consensus analysts. That would mark a 27% drop from the 9.6 million subscribers Netflix added in the quarter last year, which would have been a record high for quarterly paid net feeds.
Meanwhile, Disney + had 129.8 million subscribers worldwide from its first quarter of 2022. The company reiterated its goal of bringing 230 million to 260 million subscribers to the service by the end of the 2024 fiscal year.
With more streamers experimenting with ways to improve the overall user experience (and collect more subscriber data along the way), groundbreaking decisions like this can help push the sector into its next growth phase.
“There is an oversupply of content on the market,” Palomba noted. He explained that tailor-made consumer experiences such as Netflix’s (NFLX) dual thumbs-up feature and interactive game series like “Trivia Quest” can help differentiate top players in the market.
“Streaming allows for further refinement of consumer segmentation and additional tailored experiences for the audience,” he said, doubling that streamers have the ability to explore this user experience in a way that traditional networks cannot.
Disney + welcomes a live reality show (and one that viewers can concretely interact with by voting) signaling a new phase in the streaming wars – a phase that is likely to see more groundbreaking shakeups emerge.
Alexandra is a senior entertainment and food reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @ alliecanal8193
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