Connect with us

Headlines Of The Day

Disney seeking to dilute its interest or exit from India

Walt Disney is currently considering various strategic possibilities for its Star India business, including a potential joint venture or sale. According to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal, the company has initiated discussions with at least one bank to identify opportunities for growth in its Indian operations while sharing some of the associated costs.

While the talks are still in the preliminary stages, the specific options that Disney may pursue regarding its Indian operations remain unclear. Disney’s India business comprises the popular Disney+ Hotstar streaming service and Star India, which came under Disney’s ownership after the acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets in 2019.

The Wall Street Journal report states that Star India is expected to see a decline of approximately 20 percent in overall revenue for the fiscal year ending September 2023, amounting to just under $2 billion. Furthermore, its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) are projected to decrease by roughly 50 percent compared to the previous year, dropping from around $200 million.

As per the report, Hotstar is estimated to lose between 8 million and 10 million subscribers in its fiscal third quarter. These developments highlight the challenges faced by Star India, which was rebranded as Disney Star the previous year. Disney’s India business encompasses a wide range of television channels and holds a stake in a prominent movie production company.

It’s interesting to note that in the recent few months Disney+ Hotstar is facing a bit of a struggle in India with losing digital streaming rights to India’s most popular cricketing league – The Indian Premier League, for a whopping Rs 23,758 crore for 2023-2027. Hotstar held these rights for the past five years, which at the time it had bagged for Rs 16,347 crore.

Out of the 137.7 million global subscriber base of Disney+ as of April 2, 2022, 50.1 million came from India’s Disney+ Hotstar, with the company saying that a little over half of the subscribers it added globally in the Jan-March quarter too were from Hotstar.

According to an Emkay global report, IPL and India’s cricket rights led to app downloads of 500mn+ for Hotstar. Further, recently, the platform also ended its partnership with HBO, leaving it without some of its most popular shows like Succession, Game of Thrones, Westworld, among others.

Additionally, 84 lakh subscribers have left the platform over the last six months, data accessed by CNBC-TV18 in May showed.

The Walt Disney Co. reported a 2 percent drop in its overall subscribers for Disney+. Memberships at the end of the quarter stood at 157.8 million, compared to 161.8 million in the previous quarter.

The fall in subscribers has also coincided with the rise of Reliance Industries’ JioCinema. With over 50 crore viewers, JioCinema has come very close to YouTube’s monthly viewership. The first weekend of the T20 league saw JioCinema being downloaded over 5 crore times.

Latest numbers show that, the IPL on JioCinema has clocked over 1,300 crore views in the first five weeks. It already breached peak concurrency records of the IPL twice in five days. Average time spent per viewer per match touched 60 minutes, according to a statement from Reliance Jio.

Like other players in the streaming and media sectors, Disney is proactively implementing cost-cutting measures due to the adverse impact of macroeconomic factors on advertising revenue and subscriber growth. In February, the company announced a significant restructuring effort aimed at saving $5.5 billion in costs, resulting in the elimination of 7,000 jobs. CNBC

Copyright © 2023.Broadcast and Cablesat

error: Content is protected !!