Karen Egan from research group Enders Analysis said e&’s public support for Read’s approach before his departure ‘probably prompted Cevian to pull out’. 

But she added that while the activist investors ‘may have given up hope’, other investors would be ‘campaigning hard for a fresh approach’ to recoup the losses in the share price.

‘The board will be under considerable pressure from all shareholders , many of whom will have lost a quarter of their money on Vodafone shares in the past year alone, to appoint a new boss with a more radical vision,’ Egan said.

Tom said that the shift is being driven by the increasingly sophisticated way in which SVoD services are promoting their programmes, as well as the fact that their content remains permanently available. “The viewing of less relevant content is sometimes inescapable on linear TV,” he added.

He concluded that consumers are paying less for a greater volume of choice, but watching fewer shows.

“It is a scenario that has clear winners—playing to the advantage of those with ‘bigger’ IP and programming that is able to cut through with little marketing as it is already part of the public consciousness—and those that will be challenged: spending increasing amounts on programming that has a declining chance of finding a sustainable audience.”

“This is more than putting the mouse on the treadmill,” Gareth Sutcliffe, of Enders Analysis, amedia research group, said. “It can’t just be window dressing, it needs to be really material and impactful change.”

It is unlikely to be easy for Iger. “This is a CEO who likes to be liked,” Sutcliffe said. “When you’re under a significant amount of pressure, it’s going to be difficult to maintain that level of popularity.”

“They will hang together, those four kids,” says Claire Enders, a media analyst who has tracked the Murdoch empire for decades. “They don’t need the money.”

She expects the future of weak legacy assets, including the newspapers in the UK and Australia, will be the real question for the next generation. “Everyone understands how Rupert feels, but no one else is going to pay for that,” she says.