The ongoing ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup has seen new peak concurrency records being created as official streamer Disney+ Hotstar is providing the matches for free to mobile users.
The India-New Zealand match on October 22 had 43 million peak concurrent viewers, surpassing the India-Pakistan match’s peak concurrency of 35 million on October 14.
Disney+ Hotstar announced in June that it would provide mobile users with free access to the 2023 Asia Cup and ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup after placing cricket behind a paywall for several years.
The move seems to be paying rich dividends for the streaming platform, as it has been breaking its own record.
Prior to the Cricket World Cup, JioCinema had set a record for peak concurrency, drawing 32 million people to the Indian Premier League (IPL) final between the Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans.Media experts believe that streaming viewership is on the rise since it allows the convenience of watching matches on the go. As smartphone penetration grows, the digital viewership for cricket is expected to accelerate further.Disney+ Hotstar is also encouraging viewers to purchase a subscription in order to watch the matches without ads.
The platform has partnered with the International Cricket Council (ICC) to introduce MaxView, which allows cricket fans to watch the game in vertical mode (9×14 portrait view).
According to BARC Data for All India 2+ audience, the India vs. New Zealand match had 80 million peak concurrent viewers on Disney Star channels and Doordarshan compared to 75.5 million for the India vs. Pakistan match.
Disney Star has claimed that the total viewership for the live broadcast of the World Cup has crossed 400 million viewers for the first 26 matches.
BARC data suggests that the data just for Disney Star channels is 310 million for the All India 2+ audience.