Disney+ Hotstar today set a new record during the India and Pakistan’s super 4 round match in Asia Cup with a peak concurrency of 2.8 crore viewers, according to industry sources.
To achieve this feat, Disney + Hotstar beat its own 2019 World Cup record during the India vs New Zealand semi-final match, when MS Dhoni was tad short of getting into the crease to save his wicket and India’s chances of moving into the finals.
Disney Star, which operates Star Sports channels and Disney+ Hotstar OTT, is broadcasting the Asia Cup on TV and digital platforms. It also owns media rights for both platforms for the upcoming 50-overs ICC World Cup 2023 tournament.
Arch cricket rivals India and Pakistan faced each other on September 3 in a group match in Asia Cup, but the match had to be suspended due to rains. India and Pakistan’s super 4 round match, originally scheduled yesterday, was again interrupted due to rains and the game continued today, which was marked as a reserve day. However, rains were back today to halt the game at times today.Before the rains disrupted the match today, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul both scored centuries to pile 356 runs for India with the loss of just two wickets. Perhaps, the excitement that the key contest between India and Pakistan offers is pretty weak against the several rain ‘irritations’, because the OTT platform managed to score a record concurrency despite several interruptions.The arch rivals are set to play against each other again in World Cup and these games are usually a big crowd-puller. Media experts had also said earlier that matches involving Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand are expected to see a scale equivalent to an India-Pakistan match in the World Cup, which may help Disney+ Hotstar to keep scorers busy counting its viewership on TV and digital platforms.
Disney+ Hotstar is also streaming Asia Cup for free on mobile or handheld devices. They will also stream World Cup on these devices for free.
This also comes at a time when Disney Star is up against Reliance-owned Viacom18, which has emerged as a strong competitor who bagged the digital rights for IPL while the former kept the TV rights. Viacom18’s JioCinema also recently won the media rights for all Indian cricket teams’ (men and women) home matches.
Disney Star on other hand retains media rights for ICC’s matches.