Traditional TV is headed for ‘precipice’, says ex-Disney CEO Iger

LOS ANGELES • Bob Iger (picture), the former CEO of Walt Disney Co, said traditional TV, including broadcast, cable and satellite, “is marching to a distinct precipice and it’s going to be pushed off”.

Streaming TV is gaining viewers, Iger said, but that doesn’t mean all online services will do well. 

“I do not think that all of the streamers that are in it today will survive,” said Iger, who retired as executive chairman of Disney in December. 

Industry pioneer Netflix Inc will continue to thrive, he said, despite its recent subscriber losses.

“Clearly I’m a big believer in Disney,” said Iger, who launched the ESPN+ and Disney+ streaming services when he ran the company. “They’ve got the IP.”

Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc “are not going to stand pat”, he said. “They’ll continue to grow and they’ll grow well. They’ve proven they know how to do it, so they’ll stay.”

The executive, who spoke at Vox Media’s Code conference on Wednesday in Beverly Hills, California, didn’t comment when asked about Warner Bros Discovery Inc, which just completed a big merger with the parent of HBO in April.

Iger, a onetime weatherman who rose to run ABC during the heyday of the broadcast TV business, said he’s enjoying retirement and doesn’t miss running the world’s largest entertainment company. 

He said he’d been asked, but would not likely join a big company’s board of directors.

“I’ve done that before,” he said. “I enjoyed it then.” — AFP