Walt Disney said on Tuesday that content from its streaming service Hotstar — home to 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 through its four streaming services, is looking to slowly consolidate its content into a Disney bundle, which includes ESPN+, Hulu, Disney+ and more than 100,000 movies, TV episodes and sporting events.
Hotstar sports content is moving to ESPN+, and Hotstar movies and TV shows are migrating to Hulu, which will feature series like The Handmaid’s Tale.
An annual subscription to Hotstar costs $49.99 (approximately Rs. 3,650) per year, while the Disney bundle, which starts at $13.99 (approximately Rs. 1,020) per month, gives subscribers at least $167.88 (approximately Rs. 12,260) costs for one year.
Hotstar users in the US will receive a redemption code to take advantage of an offer to transfer their subscriptions to the full Disney bundle at no cost.
IPL comes to ESPN+
Hotstar is popular in India as it streams Bollywood movies, local TV shows and cricket tournaments.
According to data analytics firm Sensor Tower, Hotstar’s mobile app only had about 0.04 percent market share in the top 100 streaming services in the US in the first half of 2021. However, in cricket-crazed India, it had a 29 percent share of all new downloads in the top 100 mobile streaming video-on-demand apps.
The Indian Premier League (IPL), with an estimated brand value of $6.8 billion (approximately Rs. 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 left after several players and backroom staff tested positive for COVID-19 amid a devastating second wave of infections in India.
The remaining matches will be streamed on ESPN+ in the US when the tournament resumes from September 19.
© Thomson Reuters 2021