American media giant Disney will launch its Indian streaming service Disney+Hotstar on April 3. The platform will offer titles from Disney’s vast library, including superhero movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Star Wars spinoff The Mandalorian, High School Musical: The Series and a live-action version of the animated film Lady and the Tramp.
Disney+Hotstar also has streaming rights to football’s Premier League, the cricket-based Indian Premier League and the Pro Kabaddi League.
The change from Hotstar, which was launched in 2015, to Disney+Hotstar follows Disney’s acquisition of the Star media network as part of a larger deal with Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox in 2019. Hotstar is a part of the Star group of companies, which in turn was owned by Murdoch’s News Corporation. Disney+Hotstar’s main rivals in India include Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
Uday Shankar, President, The Walt Disney Company APAC and Chairman, Star & Disney India, said in the press release, “We hope the power of Disney’s storytelling, delivered through Hotstar’s technology, will help our viewers find moments of comfort, happiness and inspiration during these difficult times.”
The launch will be preceded by premieres on April 2 of the Disney movie The Lion King and the web series The Mandalorian. A Disney+Hotstar Premium subscription will now cost Rs 1,499 (up from Rs 999 for Hotstar Premium).
“All existing subscribers will be automatically upgraded to their respective new subscription plan and will be charged the new rates upon renewal,” a press release stated. “A separate Disney+ branded section will help users navigate the wonderful Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic content available on the service.”