Disney has announced it is going to be closing down its Hotstar streaming service in the United States in late 2022, but no date has yet been confirmed.
Hotstar offers a wide selection of Indian films, movies and live sports, across 9 languages, which also includes lots of original programming.
Disney is going to be streamlining its streaming services by moving its content over to its other streaming platforms, Hulu and ESPN+.
In a statement made about the closure, a Disney spokesperson said:
“The move from Hotstar, a premium brand for South Asian content, to ESPN Plus and Hulu in the U.S. expands upon the rich and diverse catalog of live events and stories delivered across the Disney Bundle and provides a platform for South Asian content to reach broader audiences”.
Hulu will be getting all of the entertainment content, which will include several thousand Hotstar specials and popular Bollywood/South Asian movies. Select Bollywood content will also be available on Hulu beginning September 1st, with thousands of additional movies and series episodes to be added in the future.
New content coming to Hulu includes Hotstar Specials from September 1st include:
- “The Empire” – a fiction saga mounted on an unrivaled scale that brings together India’s finest talent, spectacular visuals, and a gripping narrative, based on “Empire of the Moghul: Raiders from the North” by Alex Rutherford
- “City of Dreams” – a political drama starring Atul Kulkarni, Priya Bapat, Eijaz Khan, and Sachin Pilgaonkar
- “The Legend of Hanuman” – a 13-episode live animation series with voice by Actor Sharad Kelkar
- “Aarya” – a powerful series featuring a story of crime, family and survival that stars former Miss Universe and actress Sushmita Sen
- “Special Ops” – the story of a 19-year hunt for the terrorist behind the biggest attacks in India featuring an ensemble series cast including Kay Kay Menon, Divya Dutta, Vinay Pathak, Karan Tacker, Sajjad Delafrooze, Sana Khaan, Saiyami Kher, Meher Vij, Vipul Gupta, and Muzammil Ibrahim, amongst others
- “The Office” – set in Faridabad (India), the show is the official Indian adaptation of the international hit comedy series that chronicles the 9-to-5 lives of the employees at Wilkins Chawla as they navigate through their mundane routine that invariably gives rise to comical situations
ESPN+ will be getting new live cricket events, including VIVO IPL 2021, the world’s most popular T20 cricket league, will resume its 14th season on Sunday, Sept. 19, on ESPN+ in the U.S. when the Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians meet in Dubai. The match will be the first of the remaining IPL matches (more than 30) in the 2021 schedule, all available on ESPN+. In addition to the league stage, ESPN+ will stream live the 1st Qualifier, Eliminator and Qualifier 2 matches, as well as the VIVO IPL 2021 Final on Friday, Oct. 15, in Dubai. In 2022, all 62 matches of the IPL season will stream live on ESPN+ beginning in March.
ESPN+ will also deliver all matches (a total of 48) of the entire ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 tournament beginning Sunday, Oct. 17, live from Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Additionally, BCCI home tours for the India national team will include the upcoming tours by South Africa and New Zealand later this year. Together, these events add to the growing cricket lineup on ESPN+, including 100+ Cricket New Zealand matches over the next six years and 100+ West Indies Cricket matches over the next five years against top teams like India, England, and others.
Disney is hoping that Hotstar users will then take up the Disney Streaming Bundle as from September 1st, Hotstar U.S. subscribers who don’t currently have any other Disney streaming service will be eligible to get the Disney Bundle (Disney Plus, Hulu, ESPN Plus) through the end of their Hotstar annual subscription, rounded up to the end of the month, at no additional charge.
Disney acquired the streaming platform when it purchased 20th Century Fox. Disney rebranded Hotstar in India last year to Disney+ Hotstar, merging in all of their content into one streaming platform.
Any US Hotstar subscribers who don’t want to redeem the offer for the Disney Streaming Bundle may request a refund by September 30th.
Currently, the closure of Hotstar is only going to impact United States users, for now. Recently, it was revealed that Disney was looking to put its Hotstar Original shows on Hulu and on Star on Disney+ internationally.
What do you think of Disney closing down Hotstar in the United States?
Source – Variety