May 18, 2024

World Cup 2023

A recently concluded cricket World Cup managed to attract a record 518 million Indian viewers who watched the event on Walt Disney-owned TV channels. Disney shared the statistic this Thursday, revealing just how popular the 48-day event was in the country.

Disney got to broadcast the World Cup thanks to the fact that it bought digital and streaming rights to show the International Cricket Council’s tournaments in India.

Furthermore, it will be the broadcaster of future cricket-related events until 2027. The company paid around $3 billion in order to receive the rights, but it appears that the gamble was worth it, as its Hotstar streaming app hit a concurrent viewership record of 59 million during the final match.

The figures came as a relief for Disney’s India unit, headquartered in Burbank, which is looking into the possibility of either finding a joint venture partner or selling its business.

Due to knowing how popular the cricket World Cup is in the country, the firm even created a strategy that would boost its advertising revenue during the event by allowing free streaming of the games.

But, more than that, its goal was to offset the impact seen by the major subscriber exodus.

The company’s strategies paid off, and Disney+ Hotstar said in a statement that the Cricket World Cup in India was the most-watched edition in the country’s history, even beating Australia, which held the record for the sixth World Cup in a six-wicket win over India last week, which capped 422 billion minutes of live TV watched across the tournament.

Disney Gains a Competitive Edge Against JioCinema

According to the statement, 130 million viewers watched the World Cup on TV. Meanwhile, Disney Star’s manager and president K Madhavan stated that the successful tournament has set the stage for a promising future in Disney’s association with the International Cricket Council (ICC).

ICC’s own statement said that the World Cup had been the most attended event in ICC’s history, while its chair, Greg Barclay, added that it was delightful to see the success of the Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. He noted,

The event has been the most attended ICC World Cup ever with records shattered across broadcast and digital showcasing the support and interest for the one-day game.

Disney’s recent success also provided the company with a competitive edge against its largest Indian rival, billionaire Mukesh AMbani’s JioCinema, which is one of the most dominant streaming services around.

Ambani sought to promote his platform in recent months by saying that mobile streaming is a better way to watch live matches instead of TV. However, Disney has proven that there is still massive demand for television, given the figures shared in the reports.

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