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What Fox’s Star India Could Offer Disney


Mar. 21 2019, Updated 1:54 p.m. ET

Fox assets include Star India

With its acquisition of 21st Century Fox (or 21CF), Walt Disney (DIS) gained Fox’s film and TV studios, cable networks, a 30% stake in Hulu, and India’s satellite TV group, Star India. Assets not acquired by Disney were spun off into a new entity, Fox Corporation (FOXA).

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Star India to benefit Disney

Media conglomerate Star India, now a Disney subsidiary, is India’s (INDA) largest broadcasting network. It owns 67 TV channels and has nearly 720 million monthly viewers in India and abroad.

Star India’s direct-to-consumer mobile-first streaming platform, Hotstar, could help Disney reach its streaming goals. The most used streaming service in India, where OTT (over-the-top) services are gaining popularity, Hotstar offers free and premium subscriptions for shows, movies, and sports.

India’s over-the-top video market

According to a January report by Indian market intelligence company Kalagato, US streaming giants Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN) are lagging behind Hotstar in the Indian OTT video market. While Hotstar has a 29% market share in India, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix have 10% and 5% shares, respectively. Viacom’s (VIA) Voot has a 4% market share.

Therefore, in addition to boosting Disney’s presence in India’s growing market, Star India could present stiff competition for digital rivals such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Disney’s stake in Indian satellite TV provider Tata Sky and Dutch media company Endemol Shine Group could also help it grow overseas.


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