Over the last year, Disney+ Hotstar has continued to make bad headlines for Disney, following the loss of the rights to the popular Indian Premiere Cricket League, which resulted in the streaming service losing over 20 million subscribers. These losses, have set the streaming service back in its goals of total global subscriber numbers and resulted in Disney even investigating potentially selling some of its Indian businesses.
While the loss of the IPL cricket rights did save Disney billions of dollars, this Saturday, Disney+ Hotstar has been able to get a much-needed win, as the streaming service reclaimed the global on-demand video streaming record by having 35 million concurrent viewers tuning in live for the World Cup cricket match between India and Pakistan.
The previous record was held by another cricket match on Viacom18’s JioCinema, with 32 million viewers. However, the viewership for the game was below Disney’s expectations, which apparently had projected that the game could have reached over 50 million concurrent viewers during the tournament and reach 82% of the total annual video users in India during the nearly 50-day series.
One of the main reasons Disney+ Hotstar pulled in this huge number of viewers was a change in strategy by offering a live stream of the game for free.
According to Techcrunch, once the cricket World Cup ends next month, some of India’s top executives will be flying to Disney’s headquarters in the US to finalise the future of Disney’s India business. It’s unknown what Disney’s decision about the future of Disney Star will be, such as selling its linear business, its film studios or even Disney+ Hotstar.
What do you think of Disney+ Hotstar breaking the record? Let us know on social media!
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.