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


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

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In India, few events attract as much attention as a cricket game. A high-profile match between neighboring countries India and Pakistan gave a much-needed break to Disney’s Hotstar, which has lost more than 20 million subscribers in the last three quarters, and whose executives The search for a buyer for its Indian operations is expected to intensify soon.

Disney’s Hotstar on Saturday reclaimed the global on-demand video streaming record as the cricket match attracted more than 35 million viewers.

The milestone surpasses the recent record of 32 million viewers set by Viacom18’s JioCinema, backed by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani. That record, similar to several other records achieved by Hotstar in the last five years, was for streaming a cricket match.

Disney is streaming ICC World Cup cricket matches for free to mobile viewers in India as it attempts to take on Viacom18, which has pipped the global giant for five-year streaming rights of cricket tournament IPL and is gaining momentum. Has increased its popularity since.

For Disney, regaining the vanity metric is a relief for the company 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 the Disney India business soon after the ongoing Cricket World Cup ends next month, two people familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.

The firm has held preliminary talks with a handful of companies in recent weeks, including Indian conglomerate Reliance as well as some private equity giants, as it garners interest for the India business, which was launched at the time Disney acquired Fox. At the time it was the crown jewel of Fox’s portfolio.

But Star India’s fortunes have changed in recent years amid declining market conditions and the aggressive play of Ambani, who has poached several top Star India executives to lead Viacom18. Viacom18 counts Bodhi Tree, run by former Fox executives Uday Shankar and James Murdoch, among its key backers.

Disney has high expectations from the ongoing 48-day ICC Cricket World Cup. According to internal 53-page slides reviewed by TechCrunch, the global streamer has told marketers it could reach more than 50 million concurrent viewers at the tournament and 82% of total annual video users during the series. .

A Disney slide obtained by TechCrunch.


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