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With Shut-In Kids Flocking to Streaming, Disney Channel Retools

  • Virus accelerates the trend to more online video viewing
  • Sports networks tumble, while cable news enjoys a surge
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With four kids under 18 at home, Patty Holliday was expecting an explosion of TV watching during the coronavirus lockdown. What she saw was a special edition of entertainment Darwinism.

Her 8-year-old daughter, the youngest, is the lone holdout for cable TV, a fan of the morning show “Puppy Dog Pals” on the Disney Junior network. When her siblings get up, negotiations quickly shift to Netflix and other on-demand options, like reruns of “Wizards of Waverly Place,” a decade-old hit on the new Disney+ streaming service.