At a cricket world cup match between India and Pakistan, the Walt Disney Co.’s regional streaming service Disney+ Hotstar recorded a record 35 million concurrent viewers on Saturday.
The company noted in a statement that it was the biggest peak concurrency number ever attained in all cricket variants. It claimed that the Men’s Cricket World Cup match in Ahmedabad, India, was a turning point in the nation’s digital sports audience.
In the match, India defeated Pakistan by seven wickets. When the two neighbors played in the 2023 Asia Cup, the last peak concurrency was 28 million.
After the company lost its streaming rights to the Indian Premier League cricket event to Viacom18 Media Pvt., Disney has been considering its strategic alternatives for its operations in India, which include an outright sale or the formation of a joint venture. Reliance, Paramount Global, and Uday Shankar’s investment company Bodhi Tree Systems have partnered to form Viacom.
The World Cup matches in India were streamed live for free on the Disney streaming service, which attracted viewers in the cricket-mad country by following the lead of rival Reliance Industries Ltd. This step was made in an attempt to win back some subscribers, even if it meant compromising earnings.
For the first time in twelve years, India is hosting the Cricket World Cup, drawing large crowds to stadiums and electronic media. Thanks to the success of the flashy, American franchise-style local Indian Premier League cricket match, the sport has become incredibly popular in the nation and has made the Board of Control for Cricket in India one of the richest sporting bodies in the world.
Since its launch in 2008, the IPL has transformed the game and given Bollywood glitz to the athletics world. It’s one of the fastest-growing sports events in the world, sometimes referred to as the Super Bowl of cricket.
During the first weekend of the IPL in April, JioCinema, a streaming service owned by Mukesh Ambani’s company, garnered over 1.47 billion video views. The richest guy in Asia paid $2.7 billion to get the digital rights last year.