New Delhi: Walt Disney has deferred the launch of its video streaming platform Disney+ Hotstar in India that was slated for 29 March.
Disney Plus was due to launch March 29 as part of Disney’s India streaming service Hotstar, coinciding with the beginning of the service’s largest audience puller — the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament.
On March 11, Disney Plus went live in India, only to be withdrawn a day later. Hotstar said it was a beta testing limited to a small number of customers.
Disney’s Star network has a stranglehold on cricket, the most popular sport on the Indian subcontinent. In 2017, the network paid $2.55 billion for 2018-2022 rights to the IPL. In 2019, 18.6 million viewers on the Hotstar app and website tuned in simultaneously to watch the IPL finals, breaking the record for concurrent viewership.
Hotstar is India’s most popular streamer with more than 300 million monthly active users.