Corona hits Disney+, streaming service launch delayed in India
The official rollout of the service was slated to happen on March 29.
The Walt Disney Co. said on Friday that will put on hold the launch of its streaming service Disney+ in India over the outbreak of the coronavirus. The official rollout of the service was slated to happen on March 29, coinciding with the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Disney-owned Hotstar holds the streaming rights for the two-month long league, which is a big draw with Indian audiences.
New titles from the Disney stable are likely to be launched in India through the new service, which will be rolled out in conjunction with Hotstar. Disney did not specify a new launch date, but insisted that the rollout was only “briefly paused.” The company had organized a press conference in Mumbai on March 13, only to call it off at the last moment due to the public health crisis.
Disney+, in international markets, has a catalogue comprising of content produced by the studio, whereas in India, Hotstar can be used to stream live television and sports, in addition to movies and television shows.
In 2019, some 18.6 million users concurrently tuned into Hotstar’s website and mobile app to watch the final of the 12th edition of the IPL, highlighting the tournament’s importance to the broadcaster. Disney-owned Hotstar, which competes with Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and a raft of other platforms, outdid the previous best of 10.3 million concurrent views for a live event, that was set in the previous edition of the IPL.