Hotstar to shut down in the US!
Even as Disney+ Hotstar starts the next phase of its journey in India with new subscription plans from today, it is slowly closing down in America. In a statement issued on Tuesday, Disney has confirmed that Hotstar, which has been operating as a standalone platform in addition to Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, will shut down in the US market by late 2022.
Hotstar had been acquired in 2009 as part of the mega-deal between Disney and 21st Century Fox. While Disney+ Hotstar operates in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, Hotstar has been operating as a separate platform in Canada, the UK and the US. The US closure appears to be the first sign that the Hotstar brand will be slowly retired by Disney.
What happens now? All Indian content, including Hotstar Specials such as The Empire, Aarya, The Legend of Hanuman and others, will be slowly shifted to Hulu. On the other hand, all sports rights, including cricket, will be shifted to ESPN+. This shift, however, will have no bearing on Disney+ Hotstar in India.