- Disney is looking to sell its Indian assets, including the Disney+Hotstar OTT platform.
- The Disney Group is allegedly in talks with the Adani Group and Sun TV network for an acquisition deal.
- Disney’s business in India also includes 70 TV channels like Star Sports and Star Gold.
Walt Disney is looking to sell its media assets in India, which includes the popular streaming platform Disney+Hotstar. The company is reportedly in discussions with Adani and Sun TV to explore a potential buyout.
Last month, Disney was also speculated to be in talks with Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries, which could result in the merger of Disney+Hostar and JioCinema. Disney is currently struggling in the Indian OTT market as it recently lost the streaming rights to the nation’s most popular sporting event, the IPL.
Disney+Hostar Could Be Sold To Adani and Sun TV
As reported by the Economic Times, Disney is currently in discussions with Gautam Adani and Kalanithni Maran to sell all of its Indian assets. Adani and Maran both have significant market share in the media industry with ownerships of AMG Media and Sun TV respectively.
An anonymous source from Disney has told the Economic Times that Disney is only looking to sell the sports rights and regional entertainment services of the Disney+Hostar division. However, it is not clear whether the deal includes the TV business to not.
Currently, the Disney group has two major businesses in India. First is the popular OTT platform Disney+Hostar. The second part of Disney’s business comes in the TV market, where the Disney-Star division runs over 70 channels in India, including Star Sports, and entertainment channels like Star Gold.
The Disney group is struggling in the Indian media market. The company recently dropped all HBO titles from the Disney+Hostar app, which included big names like Game of Thrones. It also failed to retain the streaming rights of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which is the most-watched cricket league in the world.
Cricket Streaming is the Biggest Asset of Disney+Hotstar
Over the years, Disney+Hostar has built its reputation as the sole platform for sports streaming in the OTT segment. However, with the emergence of JioCinema and potential competition from Amazon Prime Video, Disney+Hostar is slowly losing its grip in this segment.
That said, Disney+Hostar still has a huge card up its sleeve, as it has the exclusive streaming rights for the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. The company is also streaming the tournament for free in India at 480p resolution, and offering FHD streaming on paid plans. Hotstar also has the rights to stream the home matches of the Indian team up to 2027.
The Indian management of the Disney+Hotstar division has refused to comment on the acquisition talks. ET also reported that the Adani Group and Sun TV network have also not responded when reached out for a statement.
Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries has also not divulged any details about the meeting with the Disney Group for the asset buyout deals. Instead, Jio and Disney+Hotstar have partnered together to launch seven new prepaid plans with the Disney+Hostar subscription for streaming of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.