Walt Disney Company acquired Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc. in a USD 71 billion cash and stock deal in June 2018, making Star India, Fox Star Studios, and Hotstar part of Walt Disney.
Now, Walt Disney Company is set to take Hotstar, India’s largest over-the-top (OTT) channel, to global markets.
Hotstar has been launched in three key international markets — the US, Canada and the UK — and they aim to reach the majority of the 40 million South Asians living abroad, Business Standard reported.
The report said Hotstar will concentrate on five markets, which include Singapore and West Asian countries, which have more than 75 percent of the expatriate South Asian population.
In a bid to push Hotstar, Disney has already discontinued linear television offers on Star TV channels available through cable in most of these countries, the report further stated.
According to the report, the programming would concentrate of shows in Hindi and regional languages, movies and wherever possible, sports.
With the digital market-making delivery of content cheaper than through cable or direct-to-home, Hotstar says this is a more cost-effective way to reach ethnic South Asians.
For example, in the US, Star TV channels were viewed on television by around 200,000 subscribers at a cost of USD 25 a month. Hotstar, on the other hand, is being offered at USD 10 a month, which can gather more subscribers than television has.
Sources say talks are on as to how Hotstar could use Disney’s popularity in many of these markets, especially when the Disney’s own OTT offer Disney+ itself is expected to challenge Netflix, Amazon, Prime and Apple+ in the US and other countries.
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