afaqs! news bureau
OTT Streaming

Disney+Hotstar to stop streaming HBO content; experts suggest may lead to subscriber losses

The platform witnessed a decline in subscribers after it lost the rights to IPL. 

Disney+Hotstar, in a tweet on March 7, announced that it will stop streaming HBO content, following non-renewal of the deal. This includes shows like Game of Thrones, Euphoria, Chernobyl, The Last of Us as well as popular live sports content like Premier League soccer.

This move is expected to lead to higher subscriber churn for the OTT platform that also lost out on the digital rights to the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Karan Taurani, senior vice president, Elara Capital, says it will have a significant negative impact on paid subscribers for Disney+Hotstar estimating "the subscriber loss moving towards the upper end (around 25-30% in total) of the 61.5 million subscribers at peak." 

The platform still has catch up television content, which drives a large chunk of broadcaster OTT content, upcoming T20 World Cup, Disney’s massive global and Indian movie catalogue and other Indian and international cricket content. Taurani says this content will offer respite. "We believe active paid subscriber base for Hotstar could settle at 42-45 million subs over the next three quarters," he says. 

BCCI is expected to renew its contracts for India matches this year. If the platforms loses the rights Taurani says it is expected to become a bigger blow as the active paid subscriber base can move even below 40 million over the medium term.

As of December 2022, the platform had 57.5 million paid subscribers. In the October-December quarter, the platform lost 3.8 million subscribers after losing IPL rights and the non-renewal of content deal with telecom giant Reliance Jio.

In India, the platform was the destination for most of the content produced by WarnerMedia ever since the two companies signed an exclusive pact in 2015. In 2020 the company stopped broadcasting the HBO channels in the country.

It is possible that Amazon Prime Video will now be streaming all HBO content in India as several HBO Max Originals are already available on the platform.

Have news to share? Write to us