When Dancing with the Stars announced it was moving to Disney+, it took a lot of fans by surprise.
This meant that the show would no longer air on network television, which is provided by all basic cable services.
However, with more and more people cutting the cord and choosing which streaming services they wanted instead, it is a huge move for the show to move to the popular Disney+.
However, the reason for the move came down to two very important things.
The real reason DWTS left ABC
The main reason that Dancing with the Stars moved to Disney+ was to help bring the streaming service more subscribers.
There are already a lot of people there, thanks to Star Wars, Marvel, Disney Animation, and Pixar.
However, Disney knows that reality TV is hugely popular and this is an untapped market. Dancing with the Stars will be the first live reality show to air on a streaming service in the United States.
This provides Disney+ with a way to diversify its content. They have the geek fans thanks to Star Wars and Marvel and they have the families with the Disney and Pixar movies. Now, they can bring in the adult audience who devours reality television.
There is also another reason it moved, and that is Monday Night Football.
ABC used to air Monday Night Football before it moved to ESPN, another Disney-owned network. However, the NFL wants more Primetime network games and there will be an additional one this season and three in 2023 — and these would air at the same time DWTS is on.
By moving Dancing with the Stars, both can air without forcing the other off the air.
The good news for fans who don’t have Disney+ is that the service is $8 a month right now (or $80 for an entire year) but there will be a cheaper tier offered later this year with ads, something ABC viewers are already used to.
Dancing with the Stars ratings were dropping regularly on ABC
The second reason Dancing with the Stars left ABC for Disney+ was declining ratings.
According to The Wrap Pro, a big reason that Dancing with the Stars moved was these ratings, which negatively affects ad rates for ABC.
DWTS was so popular when it got going that it was moved to twice a year. With the declining ratings, ABC already said it was dropping it to once a year from now on.
In Season 1, the show had a 5.1 rating and 16.79 million average viewers. Season 30 had a 0.79 rating and 4.89 million viewers.
In Seasons 11 and 12, the show averaged 21 million viewers.
However, the ratings have been steadily declining over the past few seasons. ABC had talked about bringing in bigger stars to dance and maybe a bigger A-list celeb as the host to boost ratings.
Moving it to Disney+ could add a prestige factor that could lure a big name to the show.
Dancing with the Stars is on hiatus. The dancing reality competition series will return later in 2022 to Disney+.