The Adani Group is in talks with Disney over the potential purchase of Star India and the Disney+ Hotstar platform. Things didn't look good for Disney as it lost streaming rights to the Indian Premier League (IPL) as well as home matches for India to JioCinema. Along with that, HBO content also moved to JioCinema. This brought trouble for Disney+ Hotstar, resulting in a fast decline in the overall subscriber base. Thus, Disney is exploring a potential sale for its television and streaming business in India, Bloomberg News reported.
Adani Group is one of the entities Disney is talking to. However, it isn't just Adani. Sun TV Network has also been approached by Disney for the same. Currently, Disney is exploring several options, including selling some Indian operations or a mix of assets from the unit. Bloomberg said that the discussions are currently in very initial stages, and may not materialise. The report didn't mention any potential deal value.
Disney+ Hotstar is currently streaming the Cricket World Cup for free for users. It is definitely going to bring its active user base to a high again. The platform may even see fresh subscriptions coming in. However, once the World Cup ends, there's no major reason for the users to come back and purchase a subscription to the streaming platform.
JioCinema's offering of free streaming capabilities has made the platform very popular amongst users. Disney+ Hotstar's decision to offer free streaming of the Cricket World Cup seems to be heavily influenced by the decisions from JioCinema. Disney will have to devise fresh strategies to bring back users to its platform.
It will be interesting to see whether Disney partners with an Indian entity to run a joint operation or whether it will be a full stake sale in the television and streaming business. Whatever happens, we will update you here, so stay tuned!