The ICC ODI World Cup 2023 final between India and Australia on November 19 drew a record high concurrent viewership of 5.8 crore on streaming platform Disney+ Hotstar. This surpassed the previous record of 5.3 crore viewers during the semifinal match between India and New Zealand on November 15.
Notably, Disney+ Hotstar offers free viewership of the World Cup matches in non-HD format, a move that comes after its rival Jio Cinema streamed the matches of Indian Premier League (IPL) for free. This milestone is significant as reports indicate that Walt Disney is considering strategic options for its India business. These options include a joint venture or sale as the company looks to reduce costs and help the business grow, according to the Wall Street Journal.
During an earnings call on November 9, Disney CEO Bob Iger stated that the company is exploring its options in India but would like to stay in the market. The Australian side bowled out the Indian team on 240 runs while chasing a target of 241 runs, with them batting at 75/3 in 14.2 overs at 7:26 PM. If the match goes down to the wire, it is expected to peak further with even more viewers tuning in for all the action.
The success of Disney+ Hotstar’s streaming service during this tournament highlights its growing popularity among cricket fans worldwide and underscores its potential as a major player in digital media content delivery platforms globally.
Disney’s exploration of strategic options for its India business comes amidst increasing competition from other streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, which have also been expanding their presence in India’s rapidly growing media market.
As one of the world’s largest entertainment companies, Disney has long been known for its ability to adapt and innovate to meet changing consumer demands. Its decision to offer free viewership of select matches during this tournament could be seen as an attempt to attract new subscribers and keep existing ones engaged.
Overall, Disney’s success during this tournament serves as a testament to its ability to deliver quality content and engage audiences around the world while staying ahead of industry trends and competition.