In a remarkable feat, Disney’s Hotstar has achieved a new record by garnering 59 million concurrent viewers during the World Cup final cricket match in India. This milestone surpasses the previous record of 53 million concurrent viewers, which was set just a few days prior. With no major cricket matches scheduled in the near future, it is likely that Hotstar will maintain this record for at least the next six months.
Disney’s Hotstar has set a new record by drawing 59 million concurrent viewers during the World Cup final cricket match in India. This achievement places Hotstar ahead of its competitors and solidifies its position as the preferred streaming platform for cricket enthusiasts. Despite facing challenges in retaining digital subscribers, Disney remains committed to the Indian market and is actively exploring options to sustain its presence in the country.
Hotstar Takes the Lead
The impressive number of concurrent viewers not only sets a new benchmark but also establishes a clear lead for Hotstar over its competitor, JioCinema. Earlier this year, JioCinema, backed by Viacom18, reached a peak of 32 million concurrent viewers. Hotstar’s achievement further solidifies its position as the preferred streaming platform for cricket enthusiasts in India.
Disney’s Digital Subscriber Challenge
Amidst this triumph, Disney faces challenges in retaining digital subscribers in India. According to recent reports, Hotstar has lost over 23 million subscribers in the past year. Despite this setback, Disney CEO Bob Iger expressed the company’s commitment to the Indian market and its intent to evaluate options to sustain its presence in the country.
Disney has been engaging in discussions with various entities, including Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance conglomerate and private equity firms. These conversations indicate a keen interest in Disney’s India business, which was a prized acquisition from Fox. However, Star India’s fortunes have changed in recent years due to market conditions. Ambani’s Viacom18 has emerged as a strong competitor, as it has attracted several top executives from Star India and invested $3 billion in streaming the IPL cricket tournament for five years.
Disney’s Hopes for the Cricket World Cup
Despite the challenges, Disney had high expectations for the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup. Internal projections indicated that the streaming giant could reach over 50 million concurrent viewers during the tournament and capture 82% of India’s total annual video users over the course of the 50-day series.