Shocking! 2 Crore Indians Can Quit Disney+Hotstar: Here’s The Reason Why?

Shocking! 2 Crore Indians Can Quit Disney+Hotstar: Here's The Reason Why?
Shocking! 2 Crore Indians Can Quit Disney+Hotstar: Here’s The Reason Why?

Although Disney-Star won the TV broadcast rights for IPL at the Media Rights auction for 2023-2027, its streaming service could lose over 20 million subscribers for losing the Digital rights.

It lost out to the Ambani-backed Viacom18 which bagged the Package B & C Digital rights for INR 23,758 crore.

Viacom18 owned Voot will now be streaming IPL.


Implications, Potential Impact

Disney-Star retained the Package A TV rights for INR 23,575 crore after agreeing to pay nearly $3 billion over five years to broadcast the games on tv networks.

Media Partners Asia (MPA), a research firm, predicted that the loss of streaming rights for the IPL could lead to trouble in reaching its goal of 260 million global subscribers by 2024.

It said that the streaming company could lose as many as 2 crore of its Disney+ subscribers as a result of no longer being able to stream IPL.

Not only that, this would also hurt its chances of taking on global market leader Netflix.

Risk Losing Significant User Base

Disney+ is the global streaming service which in India is provided in partnership with Hotstar.

Hotstar accounts for over 36% of Disney+ global subscriber base with 50.1 million subscribers out of a total of 137 million subscribers.

Taking away IPL from its suite of programming will undoubtedly make a huge dent in its subscriber base addition.

IPL A Cash Cow

This is because IPL garners a significant audience online. 

It is also seen as entertainment by Indian households beyond just a cricket tournament. 

IPL is an expensive annual event which draws INR 50 lakh for every ball bowled. 

The calculation is simple- total Broadcast Rights are INR 48390 Cr.

Whereas total balls bowled in a total of 410 matches is 98400.

Therefore, each ball bowled is worth Rupees 50 Lakh.

CEO Unfazed

Despite the loss, Disney CEO Bob Chapek expressed confidence that the company would be alright due to the local content they were developing, including the library content from its own brands Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and Nat Geo.

He said that they would “still be able to achieve our 230-260 million Disney+ subscriber goal by the end of fiscal 2024.” 

Disney Star explained that it forfeited digital rights in order to go for a disciplined bid with a focus on long term value creation.

Streaming Rights Too Costly

Also, digital rights were very expensive for it to invest in. 

This is because while it charges about $8 a month in the US for Disney+, in India subscribers to Disney+ Hotstar pay only 76 cents a month on average.

This sums up to annualised revenue of less than $500 million, making it hard to justify the high yearly IPL rights fees.

Other High-Profile Sport Events

It said that it will explore other multiplatform cricket rights including that of ICC and BCCI apart from growing its slate of original entertainment content.

It already holds future rights for ICC and BCCI through the 2023 and 2024 seasons, respectively.

Aside from that it also holds rights for Pro Kabaddi League, Indian Super League football and international sports including the Wimbledon Championships and the English Premier League.

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