Disney+ Hotstar service set a new global live-streaming record during India vs South Africa
By siliconindia | Monday, 06 November 2023, 11:19:20 AM IST
Walt Disney's video streaming service, Disney+ Hotstar, has set a new global live-streaming viewership record. During the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 match, the former Indian captain, Virat Kohli, equalled the record for the most number of ODI hundreds against South Africa. The service witnessed a peak concurrency of 44 million viewers, surpassing the previous record of 43 million viewers set during the India vs New Zealand cricket match.
Disney+ Hotstar has broken records by offering free streaming of the ongoing ICC Men's Cricket World Cup and the recently concluded Asia Cup to mobile users in India. During the India versus Pakistan match, the platform recorded 35 million concurrent viewers, which was the highest concurrent digital viewership at the time. This impressive record-breaking streak follows JioCinema's free streaming of the IPL tournament for consumers earlier this year.
"Making the Asia Cup and ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup available to a wider audience, we believe, will help us grow the overall ecosystem", Sajith Sivanandan, Head of Disney+ Hotstar, said. This development is likely to offer some relief to Disney+ Hotstar, which is currently the leading streaming service in the country but has faced a series of setbacks in the past year or two due to heightened competition in India's video streaming industry.
Disney+ Hotstar has lost nearly 21 million subscribers in the past three quarters. Its paid member base plummeted to 40.4 million subscribers for the quarter ending July 2023 from a peak of 61.3 million subscribers in the quarter ending October 2022. The decline in the subscriber base came at a time when the streaming service no longer has access to key content offerings that were instrumental in driving its initial growth in India: IPL streaming rights and premium HBO content, which Viacom18's JioCinema now holds the rights to.
In August 2023, Disney's interim CFO, Kevin Lansberry, said the decline in subscribers was due to a shift in the company's product offering. Disney is also exploring a sale or joint venture for its Star India business. Last year, Disney Star secured the digital and television rights for all ICC events until the end of 2027 for a reported $3 billion and sublicensed the television rights to Zee Entertainment Enterprises.
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