New Record Set By Disney’s Hotstar With India-Pakistan Cricket Match


India-Pakistan cricket match helps Disney’s Hotstar set global streaming record

Key Takeaway

Disney’s Hotstar has set a new global streaming record by attracting over 35 million concurrent viewers during the India-Pakistan cricket match. The streaming platform is fighting back in the Indian market amidst significant losses in subscribers and intense competition from Viacom18. With the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup, Disney hopes to reverse its fortunes and attract millions of viewers.

In a much-anticipated cricket match between India and Pakistan, Disney’s Hotstar has achieved a significant milestone. Amidst the challenge of losing over 20 million subscribers in the past three quarters, the streaming platform was able to reclaim the global on-demand video streaming record. With over 35 million concurrent viewers, Hotstar surpassed the previous record set by Viacom18’s JioCinema, backed by Mukesh Ambani.

Hotstar’s Revival and Competition

For Disney’s Hotstar, this achievement comes as a relief, as it faces tough competition in the Indian streaming market. Viacom18 outbid Hotstar for the streaming rights of the Indian Premier League (IPL), a popular cricket tournament, and has quickly gained popularity. However, Disney has fought back by streaming ICC World Cup cricket matches for free on mobile devices in India.

With the ongoing cricket World Cup nearing its conclusion, top executives from Disney India are expected to fly to the company’s US headquarters to finalize the fate of Star India, the parent company of Hotstar. Disney has already held preliminary talks with potential buyers, including Indian conglomerate Reliance and various private equity giants, to garner interest in its India business.

Fate of Star India

The fate of Star India has undergone significant changes in recent years. The market conditions have worsened, and the aggressive moves made by Mukesh Ambani’s Viacom18 have impacted Star India’s position. Several key executives from Star India have been poached by Viacom18, giving it an advantage in the market. Viacom18 also boasts significant backers, including Bodhi Tree, which is run by former Fox executives Uday Shankar and James Murdoch.

Cricket World Cup as a Turning Point

Disney is placing high hopes on the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup. The company projects that it can reach over 50 million concurrent viewers during the tournament and target 82% of the total annual video users in India, according to internal documents.

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