Cricket Match Boosts Disney’s Hotstar Amid Subscriber Losses
In India, few events garner as much attention as a cricket game.
A high-profile match between neighbors India and Pakistan delivered a much-needed break for Disney’s Hotstar. The streaming service has lost over 20 million subscribers in the past three quarters, and its executives are anticipated to soon intensify the hunt to find a buyer for its India operations.
Record-breaking viewership for Disney’s Hotstar
Disney’s Hotstar reclaimed the global on-demand video streaming record on Saturday, drawing 35 million concurrent viewers to the cricket match.
Milestone surpassed Viacom18’s JioCinema
This milestone surpasses the recent record of 32 million viewers set by Viacom18’s JioCinema, backed by Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man. That record, similar to several others secured by Hotstar in the past five years, was for the streaming of a cricket match.
Disney offers free streaming of ICC World Cup cricket matches
Disney is streaming the ICC World Cup cricket matches at no cost to mobile viewers in India as it attempts to fight back against Viacom18, which outbid the global giant for five-year streaming rights of the cricket tourney IPL and has quickly grown in popularity.
Reaching peak concurrency number of 3.5 crore viewers
“We would like to thank all the fans who tuned-in to watch the India-Pakistan match on Disney+ Hotstar,” said Sajith Sivanandan, Head of Disney+ Hotstar India. “Your love for the game is what made it possible for Disney+ Hotstar to break all the previous records across all cricket formats and hit a peak concurrency number of 3.5 crore viewers.”
Disney executives look for a buyer for Star India
For Disney, reclaiming the vanity metric is a relief as its executives look for a buyer for Star India, which controls Hotstar. Top India executives are set to fly to the US headquarters to finalize the fate of Disney India business immediately after the ongoing cricket World Cup ends next month.
Fate of Star India amid market conditions and Ambani’s aggressive play
The fate of Star India has changed in recent years amid a dwindling market condition and an aggressive play by Mukesh Ambani, who has poached several top Star India executives to lead Viacom18.
High hopes from the ICC Cricket World Cup
Disney has high hopes from the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup. The global streamer has projected to marketers that it can reach over 50 million concurrent viewers in the tournament and reach 82% of the total annual video users in India during the nearly 50-day series, according to an internal 53-page slide reviewed by GamingIdeology.