Starting later this year, you’re going to need a Disney+ subscription if you want to keep watching celebrities fumble their way through some ballroom choreography. Dancing with the Stars is about to jump and jive over to the streaming service, becoming Disney+’s first-ever live series.
Disney+ has picked up DWTS for two seasons, the first of which is scheduled for a Fall 2022 premiere. Since it first aired 16 years ago, the dance competition show — where celebrities are paired with professionals for a weekly choreographed performance — has spent all of its previous 30 seasons airing exclusively on ABC.
“Dancing with the Stars has been a beloved staple on ABC for 30 seasons and brought so much joy to millions of viewers,” Disney Chairman of Entertainment Dana Walden said in a press release. “As we’re significantly expanding our unscripted slate at ABC, this is a great opportunity to introduce this show to a whole new generation of fans on Disney+. We’re so grateful to our incredible partners at BBC Studios and look forward to continuing our relationship with them on this spectacular series, which will continue to be overseen by Rob Mills and the talented Walt Disney Television Alternative team.”
Bringing a live TV staple over to streaming is not only an indicator of the persistent competition between streaming giants, but it also testifies to a general consumer shift toward streaming over cable television. DWTS is just the latest example of the still relatively new Disney+ catching up with its more entrenched competition like Netflix and HBO Max. Back in 2019, Disney closed a $71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox, bringing franchises like X-Men and The Simpsons under their ownership. Just a few weeks later, Disney announced that they’d also be taking full control of Hulu.
What’s more, Netflix also recently relinquished their license of all their Marvel original series to Disney+. So, from superhero aficionados to Beatles junkies — and now, reality TV connoisseurs — Disney+ is really hunkering down on their mission to become the Happiest
Place Streaming Service on Earth.
If you don’t want to spend the $7.99 monthly subscription fee in order to get your DWTS fix, you can save a few bucks when Disney+ rolls out their ad-supported tier later this year. It’s all part of their plan to reach at least 230 million subscribers by the end of the 2024 fiscal year.