In a gripping ICC World Cup 2023 face-off against New Zealand, Virat Kohli’s tantalizing 95-run inning didn’t just steer India to victory, but it also played a pivotal role in Disney+ Hotstar’s resurgence in the streaming wars against Mukesh Ambani‘s JioCinema.
What Happened? The India vs New Zealand showdown shattered streaming records, clocking a staggering 43 million concurrent viewers – the highest digital viewership for any cricket match. This feat eclipsed the previous week’s record of 35 million viewers during the India vs Pakistan game.
Disney+ Hotstar, once the undisputed king of cricket streaming, faced a setback when JioCinema began offering free streaming of IPL and other key Indian matches. The impact? A loss of approximately 12.5 million subscribers in the quarter ending July 1. From a robust 40.4 million subscribers in June, the numbers dwindled by nearly 21 million by October.
Last-ditch effort: But Disney wasn’t about to be bowled out. In a strategic move, they offered free live streaming of the Asia Cup and the ICC Cricket World Cup on smartphones. While Ambani secured the rights to telecast all bilateral matches of the Indian cricket team with a whopping ₹5,959 crore deal, Disney+ Hotstar clinched the media rights for International Cricket Council’s tournaments in India from 2024 to 2027, with a winning bid of ₹24,789 crore.
The latest viewership figures suggest that Disney+ Hotstar’s strategy, mirroring Ambani’s playbook, is hitting it out of the park.
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