This is a new record for the platform after it garnered 44 Mn views during a group stage match of the season between India and South Africa on November 5
The viewership number rose after India got off to a spectacular start and headed to a mega total
Disney is reported to be in talks with Reliance to sell stakes of its India business
Video streaming service Disney+Hotstar set a new record of 5.1 Cr concurrent views during India versus New Zealand World Cup 2023 semi final match at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday (November 15).
The viewership number rose after India got off to a spectacular start and headed to a mega total. Indeed, Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer’s tons helped Men in Blue to score 397 runs in 50 overs against Kiwis.
Disney, which is reportedly planning to sell off the entire India operations, including its over-the-top (OTT) platform Hotstar, hit the peak digital viewership during the first semi final of the ongoing cricket World Cup. This is a new record for the platform after it garnered 44 Mn views during a group stage match of the season between India and South Africa on November 5.
The streaming giant beat one of its biggest competitors, Jio Cinema with 32 Mn views during the India-vs-Pakistan group match of this season of the cricket world cup. However, in a fight for survival against its rival, Disney has been exploring options including both joint ventures and business sell off.
Recently Reliance was reported to be in talks with Disney to discuss the same. The former may acquire a stake in Disney’s India business in a cash and stock deal. Reportedly, the development may be announced soon with some of Reliance’s media units merged into Disney Star.
Other than Reliance, Disney was also reported to be in talks with the Adani Group, Sun Group and Blackstone to discuss selling off stakes.
The struggle for the platform began with a declining number of subscriber base, losing nearly 21 Mn subscribers over the previous three quarters. As of July 1, 2023, the streaming giant’s paid subscriber count fell to 40.4 Mn from 61.3 Mn in the quarter ending October 2022.
Analysts are of the view that much of this subscriber count decline is attributed to the loss of streaming rights of some major sports events including the Indian Premier League (IPL), the media rights for the FIFA World Cup 2022, and other national matches for India’s cricket and football teams.
Interestingly, the streaming platform retained the streaming rights for all ICC events but sold its broadcasting rights to ZEE Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE), for men’s and under-19 (U-19) global events for a four year period from 2024 to 2027 to ZEE Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE).