Published: March 20, 2020 2:49:28 pm
Disney+, the streaming service, which was scheduled to rollout in India on March 29 has been officially delayed thanks to the coronavirus outbreak, given the IPL 2020 season has been postponed. This was confirmed by the company in a statement as Disney+ was supposed to go live along with the IPL 2020. But BCCI has delayed IPL 2020 till mid-April in view of the outbreak.
The Hotstar app was supposed to get rebranded as Disney+ Hotstar, and in fact, last week the service had gone live for some as part of a beta-testing exercise. The Disney+ branding and content was made available on the app for many users. But it has been pulled since then, though some users will find that they can still access the Disney+ content.
“We recently announced that Disney+ would launch in India through the Hotstar service in conjunction with beginning of the Indian Premier League cricket season. Given the delay of the season, we have made the decision to briefly pause the roll-out of Disney+ and will announce a new revised premiere date for the service soon,” Uday Shankar, President – The Walt Disney Company APAC and Chairman, Star & Disney India said in a statement.
For Hotstar, IPL typically ensures a spike in viewership given the popularity of cricket in India. Disney+ would have hoped to capitalise on that as well given access to this content will be part of a paid subscription. But thanks to the coronavirus outbreak, there will be a delay.
Last week, the Hotstar app had got rebranded for many users with the blue colour of Disney replacing the black background of the original app. Disney+’s original shows as ‘The Mandalorian’ and others had gone live for select customers as well. The Disney+Hotstar logo had also replaced the Hotstar logo on the app’s icon.
But the company had then halted the rollout. According to Gadgets360 only Disney+ originals released till March 6 are available on the platform for now, though not all users will be able to see them. Any Disney+ originals released after this date cannot be viewed.
We are still able to access some of the Disney+ shows, including on an LG smart TV for the Hotstar app. But searching for Disney+ content on some other phones does not show any results. It is safe to presume that most users will have to wait till the official rollout takes place for Disney’s streaming service.
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