So the latest news is that Discovery Family has shot themselves in the foot again. First they delayed season 5 by about 6 months. Then they refused to make new advertisements for it. Then, when we all thought they'd run out of feet to shoot, they split season 5 in half, giving us another mini-hiatus that will inevitably lead to more drama and the fandom going at each others' throats once again. But what we half to ask ourselves is. Why?
I think the simplest reason is, they don't care about the adult fans. The Hub was run more by Hasbro than by Discovery Networks. Hasbro has long been involved with adult fans through Transformers and G.I.Joe. They know the value of catering to the basement dwellers and their precious disposable income. But Discovery Networks has far less to gain from selling pastel plastic ponies. They sell adspace. And adspace works best on new episodes.
This may lead you to ask "Well, then, why delay the episodes?" Well, remember, since they don't target US, they target CHILDREN, who watch a lot more than just ponies on the network. Basically, as long as at least ONE show is showing new episodes every weekend, they can sell more lucrative first-run adspace. Why air new episodes of Strawberry Shortcake, The Jungle Book, AND My Little Pony all at once, when you can just put MLP on a little break and start it up when the other shows run out of new episodes?
And this isn't the first show they've done this with. While it's mid-season hiatus began on The Hub, the wheels were already in motion for the change. Littlest Pet Shop's third season abruptly stopped following it's 13th episode, only to restart about three months later. I'm sorry to say, but we may be looking at this happening more often in upcoming seasons. At this rate, season 6 may be ending just in time for the 2017 feature film, rather than earlier estimates of season 7 wrapping up in anticipation of it.
Which leads me to another point. The Equestria Girls movies aren't much more than 3-part episodes in terms of runtime and, likely, budget. But the 2017 film will likely pull more resources. It's possible they're stretching out season five, and later season six, in order to put more effort into that film, while still giving us content throughout the year. They could simply be spreading two seasons thin to allow them to air in the timeframe normally given to three seasons. This would prevent a drop in quality as focus is moved to the movie, as instead of having to produce two seasons during it's production, they'd only have to produce one. Unfortunate, yes, but preferable to a drop in quality.