Confident Disney+ will achieve future targets even if we don't win IPL rights: Bob Chapek

The Disney CEO also said during the Q1 earnings call that Disney's sports proposition internationally varies by market

e4m by Javed Farooqui
Published: Feb 10, 2022 9:14 AM  | 3 min read
Bob Chapek

Disney CEO Bob Chapek has said Disney+ will achieve its stated goal of attaining 230-260 million subscribers even if it doesn't win the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights. Chapek noted that sports is a strategic offering for Disney+ Hotstar and the company will try to retain the IPL rights.

"Sports for us are — it’s a very important strategic offering because the fandom and the passion is so deep. If you look at India, we’re certainly going to try to extend our rights on the IPL. But we’re very confident that even if we were not to go ahead and win that auction that we would still be able to achieve our 230 to 260. So, it’s an important component for us around the world. Obviously really important in India, but not critical to us achieving the 230 to 260 number that we’ve guided to," Chapek told analysts during the Q1 earnings call.

Disney has forecasted that Disney+ will hit 230 million to 260 million subscribers by the end of fiscal 2024 with Disney+ Hotstar expected to contribute 30-40% of its projected paid subscriber base.

He also said Disney's sports proposition internationally varies by market. "As you know, in Europe, it’s not a big component for us, but in Latin America it actually is. The way we’ve gone to market in each territory, one of the differences between how we go to market in Asia versus how we go to market in Latin America versus how we go to market in Europe is a function of sports. That’s a really big piece of it. And where you see like in Latin America where we’ve got a very big percentage of our consumers that are subscribing to our services because of sports, it’s a bigger component to that," Chapek added.

Chapek said IPL is one part of Disney+ Hotstar's broader portfolio of entertainment and sports. He also said that Disney+ Hotstar is developing a lot of local content which will help it mitigate the impact of losing the IPL.

"So while the IPL obviously is an important part of the Disney+ Hotstar content offering, it’s really one component of a broader portfolio of entertainment and sports. In addition to obviously the original content and the library content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and NatGeo, our Disney+ Hotstar offering does have a massive collection of local content, and we add over 18,000 hours of original programming every year. So while certainly it’s an important component, that local content that we’re developing really will mitigate the impact of us if we were not to win the auction on IPL. So an important component, but it’s not like we see that business evaporating if we don’t get it," Chapek said.

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