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(Reuters) – Walt Disney Co said on Tuesday that content from its streaming service Hotstar, home to India’s IPL cricket tournament and original shows like “Aarya”, will migrate to its ESPN+ and Hulu streaming platforms in the United States.

Disney, which has 174 million paying customers across its four streaming services, is looking to slowly consolidate its content into a Disney Bundle, which includes ESPN+, Hulu, Disney+ and more than 100,000 movies, TV episodes as well as sports events.

Sports content from Hotstar will move to ESPN+, and Hotstar movies as well as TV shows will migrate to Hulu, which is home to series like “The Handmaid’s Tale”.

A Hotstar annual subscription costs $49.99 per year, while the Disney Bundle, which starts at $13.99 per month, will cost subscribers at least $167.88 for a year.

IPL COMES TO ESPN+

Hotstar is popular in India as it streams Bollywood movies, local TV shows and cricket tournaments.

In the first half of 2021, the Hotstar mobile app had only about 0.04% market share of installs among the top 100 streaming services in the U.S, according to data analytics firm Sensor Tower. In cricket-crazy India, however, it had a 29% market share of all new downloads among the top 100 mobile streaming video on demand apps.

The Indian Premier League (IPL), which has an estimated brand value of $6.8 billion, is the richest Twenty20 league and attracts many of the best players from around the world.

The league’s fourteenth season was suspended https://reut.rs/3mQYSRz on May 4 with 31 matches left to play after several players and backroom staff tested positive for COVID-19 amid a devastating second wave of infections in India.

The remaining matches will stream on ESPN+ in the U.S. when the IPL resumes from Sept. 19.

(Reporting by Chavi Mehta and Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)



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