Disney+ Hotstar loses more India subscribers, is JioCinema takeover impending?

With streaming of the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup, Disney+ Hotstar is set to have more subscribers in the ongoing festive quarter in India.

Edited By: Shubham Verma

Published: Nov 09, 2023, 12:26 PM IST

Disney+ Hotstar loses more India subscribers, is JioCinema takeover impending?

Highlights

  • Disney+ Hotstar lost about 2.8 million subscribers in the September quarter.
  • Disney CEO Bob Iger said it would like to stay in the Indian market.
  • There is also a rumour that Reliance Industries may buy Disney+ Hotstar's India operations.

Disney+ Hotstar is finding it hard to retain its subscribers in India. After losing a major chunk of its paid subscribers last year after the Walt Disney-owned streaming service lost rights to stream Indian Premiere League (IPL) matches, Disney+ Hotstar reported a further loss for the third quarter of this year. Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, has said that they would like to stay in the Indian market, as Disney+ Hotstar lost 2.8 million subscribers in the quarter ending September 30. Disney+ Hotstar had 37.6 million subscribers in the third quarter, down from 40.4 million subscribers in the second quarter in India this year.

In interacting with analysts after the quarterly results late on Wednesday, Iger said that in India, "our linear business actually does quite well". "Yes, it's making money. But we know that other parts of that business are challenging for us and for others. And we are looking, I'll call it expensively," he told analysts. "I know I've said this before, it always gets me in trouble. But we're considering our options there. We have an opportunity to strengthen our hand. It is now maybe the most populous country in the world or maybe just still second to China and about to pass them," Iger told analysts.

He said that the company would like to stay in the Indian market. Iger's statements come amid the speculation that Disney+ Hotstar may sell its India operations to Reliance Industries-owned Jio Cinema.

"But we're also looking to see whether we can strengthen our hand and obviously, improve the bottom line. In terms of advertising, we are actually finding that linear is a little bit stronger than we had expected it would be. It's not back as much as we would like," he added. "It's still a challenge, but it's not as bad as it had been. So, we've seen some slight improvement. Actually, the tech sector is still somewhat weak. But in general, overall, advertising has improved," the CEO noted.

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With streaming of the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup, Disney+ Hotstar is set to have more subscribers in the ongoing festive quarter in India. Globally, revenues for the quarter and year grew 5 per cent and 7 per cent for The Walt Disney Company. Disney+ added nearly 7 million core subscribers in the quarter.

-- Written with inputs from IANS

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Author Name | Shubham Verma

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