Cricket Yahoo – A crucial match between India and New Zealand broke the first video streaming records on Wednesday, sending more than 53 million viewers to Disney’s Hotstar.
The milestone surpassed the record of 44 million concurrent viewers set by the Disney-owned streamer earlier this month. In terms of concurrent viewership metric, Hotstar is now the leader ahead of rival Mukesh Ambani-backed Viacom18’s JioCinema, which reached 32 million earlier this year.
The milestone comes at a time when Disney, which streams the ICC World Cup cricket match free of cost to mobile viewers in India, is losing fast digital subscribers in India and is assessing in the future of local business. According to Disney, Hotstar lost over 23 million subscribers last year.
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“Team India has not only broken records with their 10th straight win in the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. Indian fans are tuning into Disney + Hotstar in unprecedented numbers. Their passion is which led us to break the tournament record four times in this tournament, setting new precedents in live streaming matches. The 5.3 crore concurrent viewers for India’s semi-final against New Zealand was more than first of 1.5 times the combined Australia and New Zealand! This milestone is not a feat of technology but a testament to the unwavering support of our audience,” said Disney + Hotstar India head Sajith Sivanandan in a speech.
Disney CEO Bob Iger said earlier this month that the company “wants to stay” in India and is considering its options in the world’s largest country, where its television business will continue to operate. .
The company has held preliminary talks in recent months with a handful of companies, including Ambani’s Indian conglomerate Reliance, and several private equity firms, as it seeks interest in the India business, which was the crown jewel of Fox’s portfolio at the time of its acquisition by Disney.
But Star India’s fortunes have fluctuated in recent years amid declining market conditions that have forced Iger to look at key businesses. Ambani did not help the IPL cricket tournament for five years to finance Viacom18 and agreed to invest $3 billion. (Disney is spending about $3 billion on the IPL, but only to televise the games.) Viacom18 listed Bodhi Tree, which is run by former Fox executives Udaya Shankar and James Murdoch, among his famous supporters.
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Disney has hope from the ICC Cricket World Cup. According to a 53-page internal slide reviewed by TechCrunch, the global streamer believes that its customers can reach more than 50 million viewers of the competition and reach 82% of the total of the annual video users of India is almost 50 days.
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