Walt Disney said on Tuesday that content from its Hotstar streaming service – home of India’s IPL cricket tournament and original shows like Aarya – will migrate to its ESPN+ and Hulu streaming platforms in the United States.
Disney, which has 174 million paying customers across its four streaming services, is looking to slowly consolidate its content into a Disney package that includes ESPN+, Hulu, Disney+ and more than 100,000 movies, TV episodes, as well as events sports.
Hotstar sports content will be transferred to ESPN+, and Hotstar movies, as well as TV shows, will migrate to Hulu, which hosts series like The Handmaid’s Tale.
An annual Hotstar subscription costs $49.99 (about Rs. 3,650) per year, while the Disney package, which starts at $13.99 (about Rs. 1,020) per month, will cost subscribers at least $167, 88 (about Rs. 12,260) for one year.
Hotstar users in the United States will receive a redemption code to take advantage of an offer to transfer their subscriptions to the entire Disney package at no charge.
IPL arrives on ESPN +
Hotstar is popular in India because it shows Bollywood movies, local TV shows and cricket tournaments.
In the first half of 2021, the Hotstar mobile app had only about 0.04 percent of the install market among the top 100 streaming services in the US, according to data analytics firm Sensor Tower. In India, which is crazy about cricket, however, it had a 29% market share of all new downloads among the top 100 streaming video-on-demand mobile apps.
The Indian Premier League (IPL), which has an estimated brand value of $6.8 billion (about INR 49,660 crores), is the richest Twenty20 league and attracts many of the best players from around the world.
The league’s fourteenth season was suspended on May 4, with 31 games to go, after several players and behind-the-scenes officials tested positive for COVID-19 amid a devastating second wave of infections in India.
The remaining matches will be broadcast on ESPN+ in the United States when the tournament resumes starting September 19th.
© Thomson Reuters 2021