Fans across the board say they are NOT being forced to watch “DWTS” on Disney+ and that the show belongs on ABC
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Fans are applauding ‘Dancing With the Stars’ recent decision to move the series from ABC to Disney+ for upcoming seasons. As the dancing reality show prepares to leave home for its final 30 seasons and make its way to the streaming service on September 19, social media is being inundated with posts from angry fans.
Many fans have stopped watching the show over the years for various reasons. Much of the turmoil began just before Season 29, when the show fired Tom Bergeron and replaced him with Tyra Banks. Fans have also now threatened to stop watching the show if it doesn’t return to its regular hour on ABC. As previously announced, the long-running competition-based show will be moving from network television to Disney+. But fans aren’t willing to pay for another streaming service just to watch a reality show. Viewers were outraged after the show released a sneak peek of the new season.
Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, said in a statement, “Dancing With the Stars has entertained fans on ABC for 16 years, and we’re excited to bring this popular show exclusively to Disney+ as the platform’s first-ever live series Kareem added, “The show’s broad appeal, coupled with the overwhelming popularity of its Disney Competitive Nights, makes Disney+ the perfect home for Dancing With the Stars as we continue to expand our demographic reach.”
Adding her two contributions, Dana Walden, Chair of Entertainment at Walt Disney Television, said, “Dancing With the Stars has been a beloved part of ABC for 30 seasons and has brought so much joy to millions of viewers,” she said, “like so This is a great opportunity to introduce this show to a whole new generation of fans on Disney+.”
Despite the fact that the move was announced at the same time as a two-season renewal on Disney’s own streaming service, meaning that seasons 31 and 32 of “Dancing With the Stars” were picked up, the two-season renewal was completely overshadowed by the news of the move, which disappointed many fans. Many pointed out that going forward, fans will have to shell out additional cash to watch Dancing With the Stars with a Disney+ subscription, which costs $7.99 a month or $79.99 a year.
When it aired free on ABC, “Dancing With The Stars” was hugely popular with its viewers. Disney+ has a premium subscription fee, so many fans who used to watch it for free are expected to “opt out”. While streaming services have been hugely popular in recent years, older viewers don’t always take advantage of them. Many other viewers just can’t afford another streaming service. Many ‘DWTS’ fans have openly said in protest that they won’t be watching this season. One such fan tweeted: “#DWTS will be featured on #DisneyPlus – stupid move. Something many 2’s enjoy on #Network TV 4 – now 2 is becoming a paid streaming service. I have Disney+ but more 4 Marvel – most people don’t – I personally won’t watch DWTS – my own protest. #Greed https://tinyurl.com/35nj3r48.” Fed up with the myriad changes that have been made to the show over the years, another fan wrote, “Not me, CA, who was a devoted Season 1 fan , until Tom Bergeron was fired. No way am I going to pay for a streaming service just to watch #DWTS. The fact that Tyra Banks is still around certainly isn’t alluring either. She pushed the show into the background just like she did with #AGT.”
When asked why they have to pay for a show that has been on network TV for years, another fan tweeted, “So you want me to pay extra money to see a show that has been on network TV for years? No! #DWTS. Some fans just can’t justify the cost of the subscription: “I won’t pay to watch #DWTS… I had Disney Plus but got rid of it because there was nothing to justify the cost and DWTS isn’t changing that .”
Calling out the show for its “bad” decisions over the years, one fan tweeted, “#DWTS has made some really bad decisions over the past few years. First they got rid of Tom and Erin and now they’re telling their audience that they don’t need us to watch. I will never pay to watch #DWTS even if Mark is back.” One fan complained that fans already have to pay for so many subscriptions, writing, “So now we have to pay to watch #DWTS? Chile I have so many subscriptions FFS!” A fan also asked why they would pay for a TikTok dancer when they could see her on social media for free: “Why would I pay a subscription to see Charli Damelio dancing Watching enough of this for free on Tik Tok #dwts.” Some fans are now finding ways to work around the issue so they can still enjoy the show: “Let’s all make a pact to share Disney Plus passwords , when ‘Dancing With the Stars’ comes back. We shouldn’t have to pay to see the show! RT!”
Another fan on Facebook wrote: “I’ve been watching DWTS for many years. No longer. As an older person, I don’t ‘stream’. ABC & Disney don’t cater to older loyal viewers who are only interested in the younger ones. Who probably doesn’t know who one of the contestants is!”
Dancing with the Stars Season 31 will air its first episode on September 19 at 8:00 p.m. ET.