Disney+ Hotstar reportedly planning to relaunch live TV feature

Disney+ Hotstar, previously known as Hotstar, removed live TV channels back in 2021 following the Indian government's order for censorship on OTT platforms.

Edited By: Shubham Verma

Published: Jun 02, 2023, 04:14 PM IST

Disney+ Hotstar reportedly planning to relaunch live TV feature

Disney+ Hotstar is reportedly planning a revamp of its platform to include live TV functionality. The live TV feature would allow users to stream Disney's Star channels in Android and iOS apps for phones, tablets, and smart televisions, as well as the Web version.

A Reddit user has shared a screenshot of what looks like a directory of channels available for live streaming in the Disney+ Hotstar app. It shows several popular Star Entertainment, Movies, and Sports channels. These are the channels that are likely to become available in the Disney+ Hotstar app:

  • Star Plus
  • Star Bharat
  • Star Utsav
  • Star Pravah
  • Star Gold
  • Star Sports Hindi 1
  • Star Sports 1
  • Jalsha Movies
  • Star Jalsha
  • Star Maa
  • Star Maa Movies
  • Maa Gold
  • Star Vijay
  • Star Suvarna Plus
  • Star Suvarna
  • A link to the live TV directory posted in the sub-Reddit thread shows all the channels. However, none of the live TV channels seems to be working at the moment. Also, the list appearing in the screenshot does not include other Disney-owned channels, such as National Geographic, Disney Channel, and Hungama TV. That could change as and when Disney+ Hotstar decides to roll out the live TV functionality.

    Disney+ Hotstar, previously known as Hotstar, removed live TV channels back in 2021 following the Indian government's order for censorship on OTT platforms. The IT Rule of 2021 mandated OTT platforms censor content, which eventually resulted in the removal of live TV channels from Disney+ Hotstar. Meanwhile, other apps such as ZEE5 and SonyLIV restructured their apps to offer live TV streaming a while ago.

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    An attempt at revival

    The purported decision to bring live TV channels back to Disney+ Hotstar app could be an attempt to revive the app's popularity. Back when it was known as simply Hotstar, Disney's streaming app for the Indian market retained the top spot for several years, thanks to its license to offer live streaming feeds for cricket tournaments. However, last year -- when the app's name changed to Disney+ Hotstar, the company lost the rights to stream the Indian Premier League matches for the next five years. Later, the license to stream HBO programmes also ended, prompting thousands of users to abandon the platform.

    According to the official figures, Disney+ Hotstar lost more than 4.6 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2023. Since October last year, the total subscriber count of Disney+ Hotstar subscriptions has dropped by over 8.4 million. The live TV feature, thus, could be a part of the company's effort to wrest subscribers back to the platform from Reliance Jio-owned JioCinema, which shattered all streaming records last week during the final match of IPL 2023.

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    Author Name | Shubham Verma

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