Potential Disney-Star Reliance Deal: Hotstar Sale Possible After IPL & India Cricket Setback, Reports Suggest

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Disney+ Hotstar News

Disney+ Hotstar Considering Sell of Business After IPL Loss

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Disney+ Hotstar has experienced a significant decline in subscribers since losing the digital rights to the Indian Premier League (IPL) and India cricket bilateral rights. As a result, Disney is reportedly exploring the possibility of selling the Hotstar business to potential suitors, with Reliance being one of them.

The Impact of IPL and BCCI Media Rights Loss

  • Disney+ Hotstar has lost over 20 million subscribers since missing out on IPL digital rights.
  • The platform also did not renew the deal for HBO content.
  • Disney-Star has missed out on the BCCI Media Rights, resulting in no India cricket matches on the platform.
  • Viacom18 has acquired the rights to India cricket matches.

Preliminary Talks with Reliance

Bloomberg reports that Disney has had preliminary talks with Reliance, its main competitor, who secured both IPL and India cricket matches.

Response from Disney-Star and Reliance

A Reliance spokesperson declined to comment on the ongoing negotiations, stating that the company evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis.

Disney-Star Sports Properties

  • Indian Premier League (TV)
  • ICC Media Rights (TV & Digital)
  • Australia Cricket Rights (TV & Digital)
  • Asia Cup Cricket
  • Premier League
  • Pro Kabaddi League
  • Wimbledon

Remaining Content on Disney+ Hotstar

Despite the loss of IPL and India cricket matches, Disney+ Hotstar still offers a range of content on the platform.

It includes ICC events, Big Bash League, and all Australia cricket home matches.

Challenges in Selling Hotstar

An agreement has already been made with Zee for ICC events for the next four years (TV only).

Merging with Viacom18 could be a gamechanger but the declining digital business and large sports rights liabilities could hinder any potential deal.

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