Bob Iger said Wednesday that Disney “would like to stay” in India and is considering its options in the world’s most populous country where its TV business continues to pull profit but the crown jewel streamer Hotstar is struggling to contain subscriber loss.
Hotstar lost 2.8 million subscribers in the quarter ending September, widening its overall loss to about 23 million in a year at a time when the firm continues to attract more consumers to Disney+. Disney+ added nearly 7 million subscribers in the quarter, making its overall subscriber base top 150 million globally, including those from Hotstar.
The glimmer of hope for Disney is that in the next quarter the company is likely to report a jump in Hotstar’s subscribers count, which currently sits at 37.6 million subscribers – and potentially have a new India partner.
Hotstar has regained many subscribers and attracted tens of millions of non-paying users back to the platform as they follow the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup. The company is also inching closer to signing a deal with Reliance to sell the India business, according to Bloomberg, as it looks to pare down losses.