Disney+ Hotstar doesn't have the digital streaming rights for the Indian Premier League anymore. The rights were bagged by Viacom18 in 2o22. This year, IPL will be live-streamed for free on the JioCinema. One of the biggest reasons why consumers went for the subscription of Disney+ Hotstar was IPL. While the platform still holds rights for live streaming the cricket matches of team India, losing the streaming rights of IPL is definitely going to affect its demand.
IPL is mostly a two-month affair. This gives the consumers of Indian telcos a great incentive to buy prepaid plans, which come bundled with a free 3-month subscription to Disney+ Hotstar. On top of this, there's also the fact that the platform will not offer content HBO content from March 31. Thus the demand for Disney+ Hotstar prepaid plans might see a drop.
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In order to keep the revenues flowing, the telcos might bring revamped prepaid plans in the near future. This is to cater to the audience that wants to watch the IPL games on mobile data. Typically, watching an entire cricket match (T20 - that takes palace for around 4 hours) on mobile would need more than 2GB of data.
Thus, the telcos could bring in more prepaid plans that come bundled with either lump sum data or high amounts of daily data. It is worth noting that Jio might not bring such plans because it already is offering truly unlimited data with the 5G Welcome offer. Airtel, on the other hand, could bring such plans because its users on 5G networks would experience a faster drain of data when watching cricket matches online.
Whether the Disney+ Hotstar bundled plans would be removed or not is something that can't be confirmed. The telcos have never really followed any sort of pattern when it comes to introducing new prepaid plans for consumers. But there is a possibility of new plans from the private telcos to allow them to watch IPL this summer.
It is worth noting that JioCinema would let users across the country watch IPL for free. The users don't necessarily need to be Jio customers. They can be Airtel or Vodafone Idea (Vi) customers as well. They would just need to download the JioCinema app on their mobile devices and log in with their numbers. IPL 2023 is slated to start on March 31. Thus, there isn't a lot of time left before the telcos can introduce new plans for the consumers and make them aware of them.
Reliance Jio recently introduced new Jio Plus postpaid plans for consumers. These new plans offer 1 month's trial as well. To know more about them, click here.