The Walt Disney Co. has lowered its target for Disney+Hotstar subscribers in India and other Asian countries from 100 million to 80 million by the end of FY24. Disney+'s entire subscriptions will decrease from the initial forecast of 230-260 million to roughly 215-245 million by FY24. Senior executive vice president and chief financial officer of Walt Disney, Christine McCarthy, stated on the company's earnings call that the company is revising subscriber guidance for Disney+ Hotstar to up to 80 million customers by the end of fiscal 2024.
McCarthy stated that after the ICC and BCCI cricket rights sales processes are finished, Walt Disney will further hone this aim. We just decided firmly not to move forward with the Indian Premier League digital rights, and we'll assess these rights firmly, too, McCarthy said. Disney made this decision after losing the streaming rights to the Indian Premier League (IPL), the second-richest sports league in the world in terms of revenue per match from TV and streaming and the most lucrative league in India. As of July 2, 2022, Disney+Hotstar had 58.4 million paid customers, a 30% increase from the 44.9 million the previous year.
The average monthly revenue per paid subscriber for Disney+Hotstar increased to $1.20, citing the company's results report, due to increasing per-subscriber advertising revenue. The IPL matches contributed to a rise in advertising revenue for Disney as a whole during the fiscal it was added. Before, a number of media and OTT analysts told Inc42 that Disney+Hotstar was going to lose up to 25 million members in India after failing to secure the digital rights to the IPL for the following five seasons. Disney's five-year monopoly on all IPL broadcasting rights came to an end when Reliance-owned Viacom18 defeated Disney Star to secure the IPL's digital rights.
Disney was forced to settle for the TV rights, or Package A, for a total of Rs 23,575 crore over the next five years, while Viacom18 was awarded the digital rights for both exclusive and non-exclusive matches, or Packages B and C. Disney Star built Disney+Hotstar based on the significant demand for sports content in India. Additionally, it expanded its portfolio of sporting events to include the English Premier League, FA Cup, and Formula 1.
According to Media Partners Asia, India's OTT revenue will increase to roughly $4.5 Bn by 2026. Indian OTT platforms spent $500 million on original content in 2021, according to a report by Omdia. Other OTT companies in India, including SonyLiv, ZEE5, and Amazon Prime Video, will give Disney+Hostar a tough time of it.