Disney Is Shutting Down This Streaming Service by the End of the Year
The service's content will be moved to other providers by 2022.
Switching from traditional cable to streaming services has revolutionized the way we consume TV and movies. The boom in viewership has even brought a wave of new services along with it that make it easier than ever to have access to the kind of content you're looking for. But just like traditional cable, not all offerings will be around forever. Now, Disney has announced that it will be shutting down one streaming service by the end of the year. Read on to see which digital platform is getting the ax.
Disney announced it's shutting down its Hotstar streaming service in the coming months.
On Aug. 31, Disney announced that it would be shutting down its standalone Hotstar streaming service in the U.S. over the coming months. The channel, which is popular for carrying live cricket matches and a wide range of South Asian programming, will disappear for good by late 2022.
However, fans of the content won't be left in the dark. The company laid out its plans to shuffle the service's programming around its Disney+ streaming bundle, sending live cricket over to ESPN+ and other shows and movies to Hulu.
Hostar subscribers will get access to the Disney+ streaming bundle starting Sept. 1.
As of Sept. 1, current Hotstar subscribers who don't already pay for a Disney+ streaming bundle will receive access to the platform through the end of their paid subscription for no additional charge. The package includes Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu.
In a statement, Disney said the move would help the popular content reach a broader audience and make the package even more enticing to current subscribers, Variety reports. "The move from Hotstar, a premium brand for South Asian content, to ESPN+ and Hulu in the U.S. expands upon the rich and diverse catalog of live events and stories delivered across the Disney bundle and provides a platform for South Asian content to reach broader audiences," the company wrote.
The price of the Disney+ streaming bundle won't change as a result of the added content.
While content may be shuffled around when the Hotstar standalone service is shut down, the cost of the beefed-up bundle won't change. The price for the Disney+ combo will remain at $13.99 a month, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The change also isn't an insignificant one. During the company's quarterly earnings call in August, Christine McCarthy, Disney's chief financial officer, said that Hotstar subscribers currently make up 40 percent of the 116 million subscribers to Disney+. She also added that the soon-disappearing service had accounted for most of the new subscribers to the service during the second and third quarters of this year, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
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Much of Hotstar's content is already available on their new respective streaming services.
Those looking to get back into streaming their favorite shows might already be in luck. While much of the content will be released on a rolling basis, many of Hotstar's most popular series are already available to Hulu subscribers, including the Indian adaptation of The Office, Hostages, City of Dreams, Live Telecast, OK Computer, and Out of Love, which is based on the BBC series Dr. Foster, Variety reports.
As of Sept. 1, cricket has also started streaming on ESPN+, including events from the VIVO IPL, the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men's T20 World Cup, and BCCI home tours for the India national team. Beginning in March, all 62 matches of the IPL season will also stream live on the platform.
The company also specified that any customers who don't want to carry over their annual Hotstar subscription into the Disney+ bundle could opt out by Sept. 30. In addition, any customers who already receive one or more Disney+ bundle services will also automatically receive a prorated refund, Variety reports.
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