Mickey Mouse Loses Magic In India As Disney+ Hotstar Suffers Major Subscriber Drop

This story was first published on the Benzinga India portal.

The Walt Disney Company DIS disclosed its second-quarter earnings on Tuesday, indicating a rough patch for its Indian operations.

According to the regulatory filings, Disney+Hotstar saw a significant decrease in its Indian subscriber base during the first quarter, losing about 2.3 million users. Currently, the streaming platform boasts a total of 36 million subscribers in India. Furthermore, the Average Monthly Revenue Per Paid Subscriber fell by 45%, plummeting to $0.70 from $1.28 reported in the previous quarter. This substantial decrease is primarily due to a slump in advertising revenue.

Star India, another Disney venture, posted a quarterly revenue of $105 million, a 17% decline from the $127 million reported during the same period last year. However, the venture’s operating losses have reduced to $27 million, a substantial decrease from the $99 million reported in the corresponding quarter last year.

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Disney attributed Star India's reduced operating loss to the non-renewal of the Board of Control for Cricket in India rights, which led to decreased programming and production costs. However, this was partially offset by higher costs for the Indian Premier League matches due to an increase in the number of matches aired in the current quarter.

Disney also reported over $2 billion in charges related to goodwill impairments concerning Star India and other entertainment linear networks in India. This impairment follows Disney’s binding agreement with Reliance Industries in the past quarter, aiming to contribute Star India's operations to a new joint venture. Goodwill impairment typically happens when a company pays more than the book value for an asset, and the value of that asset subsequently declines.

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