Disney are set to show the upcoming India-England Test series in the UK on their Hotstar streaming platform, according to a report in the Telegraph.
According to the Telegraph report, Star Sports, who are owned by Disney, own the rights to international cricket played in India. Star Sports are able to sell the rights to broadcasters in other parts of the world but in this instance are choosing to keep it for themselves. From February 23, a day before the third Test of the series gets underway, Hotstar content will be also available on Disney Plus.
A Hotstar subscription costs users £49.99 a year or £5.99 a month; a Disney Plus subscription costs £5.99 or £59.99 a year. Disney recently announced they expect to increase their number of subscribers to between 230 million and 260 million by 2024.
Disney already have a considerable presence in cricket. Along with their ownership of Star Sports, they are also owners of ESPNcricinfo, one of the most read cricket websites in the world.
Disney showing the India-England series would be the latest part of cricket’s recent pivot towards streaming services. Last month, Amazon acquired the India territory rights for New Zealand home international cricket from late 2021 through to the New Zealand home 2025/26 summer. Amazon are also understood to be interested in broadcasting next winter’s Ashes series.
The proposed moves could mean cricket fans in the UK will need to pay up to four separate subscriptions to watch mainstream international cricket. Sky continue to hold the rights for home England series and remain in the mix to telecast next winter’s Ashes series, while BT Sport are currently showing Australia’s home series against India and New Zealand’s two-Test contest against Pakistan.