[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”812″ img_size=”893×516″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]There are a lot of changes going around, especially where Disney is concerned. Not only do we have the Fox and Disney deal finalizing, but Disney is rolling out their own streaming service, Disney+. For the Marvel fans, this streaming service has been both a blessing and a curse. While we’ll be getting nice goodies such as a Loki and Scarlet Witch series, we also are seeing the crash and burn of the Marvel shows on Netflix. Two of the most beloved showed, Luke Cage and Daredevil; were recently canceled and it stands to reason that The Punisher and Jessica Jones will suffer the same fate.
In a sit down with Disney’s direct to consumer and international offers chairman Kevin Mayer and The Hollywood Reporter, Mayer spoke briefly about the Netflix shows, saying that due to the popularity of these shows, they would consider reviving them. Keep in mind, Mayer did say that there have not been discussions yet about reviving them, which is a damn shame considering the outcry on social media in the wake of these cancelations; but let’s also keep in mind that if they were brought back, it’s most likely they would recast and it would not be the gritty rated MA content that we are used to.
Still, the interview with Mayers was interesting; he spoke about Comcast’s counterbid, which almost stopped the Disney and Fox deal in its tracks. You can see the interview below:
How did Comcast’s counterbid impact the ultimate deal?
Well, it wasn’t great. I’m not going to lie. We were concerned that since Fox is a public company and they have to entertain offers until a deal is voted on by shareholders, Comcast would come back in, and sure enough, they did. Although we paid a lot more than we had initially negotiated for, it was still a very good deal.
What will the impact of the Disney-Fox deal be on the entertainment industry?
We are going to offer really compelling services to consumers. We are going to let them choose what they want to buy and what they don’t want to buy. That’s starting to have a ripple effect on the industry. We’re not trying to beat anyone or triumph over anyone. We’re just trying to serve our consumers better.
Consumers on average pay for between three and four streaming services. How will you make sure Disney+ is one of them?
We have to take our content and make it as exclusive as we can to our service. We have to make the app and the technology pretty seamless. You can find our content under our key brands, which is a real differentiator for us.
What did you learn from the launch of ESPN+ that you’ll apply to Disney+?
It validates our strategy. If you put high-quality content in front of people that want it and you have the technology that works and you market it the right way, you can succeed. I think that enhances our expectations for the rest of our launches.
What’s the right mix of original and licensed programming on Disney+?
Many of our core brands are going to be in that service. Some of this content will have an initial window, like a theatrically released film, some will be on television first, some will be original for the service. It will skew naturally from an hours perspective, because of how much we’ve invested over the years, toward product that’s non-original, but we’re making a lot of original content.
Would you consider reviving the Marvel shows that Netflix canceled?
They are very high-quality shows. We haven’t yet discussed that, but I would say that’s a possibility.
Would you have renewed the Friends deal with Netflix if you had been in WarnerMedia’s position?
I’m sure [WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey] had his reasons, but when we were faced with a similar decision, to take [our programming] off in preparation to put it on our own service, that was right for us. We will continue to do that. Ultimately our direct-to-consumer service is going to be the only place you can find that content.
WarnerMedia said it will explore selling its stake in Hulu, and Comcast could do the same. Is it your goal to own 100 percent of that business?
We’re open-minded to outcomes here. Maybe that would happen someday. We’re not in any active discussions right now.
How does Hulu fit into your international plans?
We would like to have an international trilogy of services where it makes sense. We want a sports service like we have here; we want a general entertainment service, which would be Hulu, in different places around the world where we don’t have that; and we want to have Disney around the world. An international rollout of Hulu would be something that we’d be very interested in, and we’re talking to Hulu about that now.
There was a time when it seemed likely that Disney would buy Vice. What happens to that investment following the recent $157 million write-down?
We like Vice a lot. Nancy Dubuc, who we have a lot of faith in, ran A+E as a joint venture between us and Hearst for a long time. They make great content. What they’re doing with news on HBO is really spectacular. It is a difficult space. As we know, it has been hard for everyone, and they are not exempt from that. But they are working very hard and have great creative instincts, a good business model. I think they are going to do great.
Now that the Fox deal is nearly closed, what keeps you up at night?
The deal closing keeps me up at night, but it is almost done and closed. I’m eager to execute. I’m eager to get these services out in the public’s hands. That is an excitement more than it is a nervousness.
For the full interview, head over to The Hollywood Reporter.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
A girl with too many fandoms to count.