September 21, 2021

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Disney to phase out Hotstar in US, transfer users to Disney bundles

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Disney is taking a new step in streamlining its streaming portfolio: media company Hotstar plans to launch the US service in phases – which provide live cricket and South Asian programming for American viewers – next year.

Instead, Disney will embrace sports and entertainment programming on Hotstar and repackage it on ESPN Plus (which will acquire all U.S. cricket rights to Hotstar) and Hulu for the U.S. market. It is hoped that Hotstar customers in the states will move to the Disney bundle.

Disney aims to shut down Hotstar in the United States by the end of 2022, but has no specific date at the moment. Mouse House has chosen Star India, a global hotstar, through its acquisition of 21st Century Fox.

From September 1, Hotstar US customers who currently have no other Disney streaming service will be eligible to receive their Hotstar Annual Subscription until the end of the Disney Bundle (Disney Plus, Hulu, ESPN Plus) at no additional charge per month.

Disney kept the Hotstar ending as a win-win for everyone as a unique service for U.S. customers.

“The move from Hotstar, a premium brand for South Asian content, to ESPN Plus in the United States and to the Hulu is a broad catalog of live events and stories distributed across the Disney Bundle and provides a platform for broadening and expanding South Asian content,” the statement said.

The Disney Bundle in the United States will include all the hotstar content that will be migrated, plus access to everything currently available on Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu – a collection of over 100,000 movie titles, TV episodes, original shows and sporting events. The regular price of the three-service bundle is 13.99 / month; Hotstar costs $ 49.99 / year in the United States.

Cricket Match Hotstar’s Most Viewed Content. The programming migration, starting September 1, will be the new US streaming home for live cricket events from the ESPN Plus Vivo IPL, the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s T20 World Cup, and the BCCI Home Tour of the Indian national team. In 2022, all the matches of the IPL season will start from ESPN Plus, starting from March. It will expand the cricket lineup at ESPN Plus, which includes more than 100 Cricket New Zealand matches in the next six years and more than 100 West Indies cricket matches in the next five years.

Meanwhile, Hulu will add thousands of hotstar special and popular Bollywood / South Asian films and series on a rotating basis. The series now available to all Hulu subscribers include “The Office,” “Hostage,” “Out of Love” (based on the BBC series “Dr. Foster”), “City of Dreams,” “Live Telecast,” and “Okay.” Computer. “

Eligible Hotstar US subs who do not wish to redeem their offer for the Disney Bundle can request a Protected Refund, but must do so by September 30th. Refund the rest of their Hotstar annual subscription.

Disney declined to disclose the number of Hotstar subscribers in the United States. The change currently only affects customers in the United States.

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