Loss of IPL rights weighs heavy on Disney+ Hotstar, loses 4.6 million subscribers
Loss of IPL rights weighs heavy on Disney+ Hotstar, loses 4.6 million subscribers(Photo Credit –Twitter)

India’s top streaming service Disney+ Hotstar lost 4.6 million subscribers in 4QFY23, foreign brokerage CLSA said in a report.

Disney+ Hotstar’s subscriber base declined to 52.9 million accompanied by a fall in ARPU to Rs 48 led by lower per subscriber advertising revenue.



Disney+ Hotstar’s subscriber loss and ARPU drop were due to the loss of Indian Premier League (IPL) digital rights from 2023, CLSA said.

India’s biggest sports content IPL’s five-year media rights starting in 2023 are split between Disney and Viacom 18 owned by Reliance Industries.

In the previous five years, Disney Star was the sole TV and digital rights holder for the IPL. This battle will escalate as each has paid $3 billion for rights and payment jump from 2025.

Disney, known for Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel films, said its flagship streaming service lost 4 million subscribers in the first three months of the year, The Guardian reported.

Subscribers to Disney+ services, home to movies such as Toy Story, Monsters, Thor and Black Panther, fell to nearly 158 million from January to March, the second quarter of customer losses after a net loss of 2.4 million in the previous three months. Analysts had expected Disney+ to add more than 1 million customers in the quarter. The shares fell nearly 5 per cent in after-hours trading.

Most of the lost subscribers came from Disney+ Hotstar in India after the company lost streaming rights to Indian Premier League cricket matches. Disney also lost 300,000 customers in the US and Canada, after raising subscription prices in December, The Guardian reported.

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