Disney-owned Fox Sports will reportedly cease to operate in Taiwan by the end of the year. 

The broadcaster runs three channels in the country, with all three set to shut down before the end of 2020 according to local media.

Local reports have claimed that the shutdown comes as a result of consecutive years of losses, though this has been refuted by Disney. Also refuted is an announcement of the closure made to staff by VP and general manager for Hong Kong and Taiwan, David Shin.

In comments to SportBusiness, a spokesperson for the company said that there will be “no change to Fox Sports channels across all markets in Southeast Asia,” and that the channels will continue to operate “for the foreseeable future.”

Disney has however set a precedent, shutting down Fox Sports channels in Japan and South Korea. It has also reportedly let go of a number of its key execs, handed pay cuts to presenters and withdrawn from bidding for significant sports rights.

Since finalising the US$71 billion takeover of Fox, Disney has gone to extensive lengths in order to distance itself from the Fox brand and the legacy of the Murdochs – going so far as to remove any Fox branding from its film and TV businesses.

It also sold off the Fox-branded regional sports networks acquired in that deal to Sinclair for US$10.6 billion, though this was mandated as a part of the overall takeover due to Disney’s already considerable sports broadcasting market share via ESPN.

Tags: Disney

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