Disney+Hotstar receives funding from its Indian and US parent companies

Disney+Hotstar has received funding of Rs 1,136.76 crore from its Indian and US parent company, in lieu of approximately 278 crore shares. As per financial data accessed by business intelligence platform, Tofler, Novi Digital Entertainment, which operates the video streaming platform, has secured the amount from its parent companies Star India in the country, and Star Us Holdings Subsidiary LLC, USA. Of the total amount, Star India has bought shares worth Rs 869.47 crore while the remaining shares worth Rs 244.29 crore has been bought by Star Us Holdings Subsidiary LLC, USA. This news comes after the Walt Disney Company revealed that Disney+Hotstar has nearly 8 million paid subscribers in India within a week of the launch of Disney+ on 3 April. This is the second big funding for the OTT platform this year, as in March, Star India and Star US holdings had invested Rs 1,066 crore ($153 million) into Hotstar, just before the Indian Premier League (IPL), India’s biggest cricket T20 tournament held between April and May every year. However due to the Coronavirus pandemic and nationwide lockdown, IPL 2020 has been stalled. Launched in 2015 in India, Hotstar has gained a top position in the OTT business in India over the time. Most of its growth is accredited to sports including the broadcast of cricket tournaments, apart from a vast library of movies, Hindi and regional shows from the Star networks. With Disney rolling out Disney+ through Hotstar, after The Walt Disney Company acquired Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox for $71 billion in 2019, Disney+ had an added advantage with Hotstar already having a strong foothold in India. Also, this move provided an extra edge to the streaming platform to compete against global players like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in the country. As part of the Disney-Fox deal, Disney also gained ownership of TV broadcaster Star India, which controls 60 local TV channels across the country.

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