Walt Disney company is eyeing multiple business interests in India beyond Star Sports and Hotstar. Speaking at the 6th Annual MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit, Walt Disney Company chairman and CEO Bob Iger has shared the company’s multiple interests and prospects for India market – ranging from Disney+ to theme park and Bollywood.
Disney+, scheduled to make its US debut on November 12 at $6.99 a month, may reach India in next two years as part of the company’s global expansion plans for the video on demand service.
Even as Disney+ will compete with Hotstar in the OTT space in Indian market, the service in India will be managed by the Uday Shankar-led Star and Hotstar team. “The Disney+ service in India would be managed by the Star and Hotstar team. They already have the technology, they already have a relationship with consumers and they know the market extremely well,” Iger has said.
“Bollywood is number 1 industry in India in the years to come we see more growth there. Marvel is an interesting opportunity for us in India and South East Asia. We have got an interesting initiative there for Marvel. The television growth and motion pictures would be the obvious one to direct consumer business in India.”
Beyond the audio-visual entertainment and sports business, the Walt Disney Company has also studied the Indian market for the theme park business. Iger has revealed, without elaborating much, that the company has received offers from interested parties in India to build a theme park in the country
“There is a very long line of people with a lot of money who would like us to build a theme park in India. We have studied the market. We have nothing more to say about it at this point of time,” Iger has said, while also mentioning about the Star India business and growth of Hotstar.
“International growth is really of interest to us. We end up with a lot more channels and basically more presence in Europe. Nat Geo is one way we do that. We also ended up with really interesting business in Asia and South East Asia and particularly India with Star and Hotstar. To give you an example, for every four hours of video watched in India today, Hotstar gets one hour of that.”
Hotstar has created a global record for concurrent viewership during the Indian Premier League final on Sunday last. The OTT platform had 18.6 million viewers simultaneously watching the IPL 2019 decider between Mumbai Indian and Chennai Super Kings.