Disney is to close down its Hotstar streaming service in the United States in late 2022, but has yet to confirm an end date. It is streamlining its streaming services by moving content over to Hulu and ESPN+.
“The move from Hotstar, a premium brand for South Asian content, to ESPN+ and Hulu in the US, expands upon the rich and diverse catalogue of live events and stories delivered across the Disney Bundle and provides a platform for South Asian content to reach broader audiences,” said Disney.
Hulu will become the destination for entertainment content, which will include several thousand Hotstar specials and popular Bollywood/South Asian movies. Select Bollywood content will also be available on Hulu beginning September 1st, with thousands of additional movies and series episodes to be added in the future.
ESPN+ will be showing live cricket events, including popular T20 cricket league VIVO IPL 2021 which resumes on September 19th, on ESPN+ in the US.
Disney is hopeful that Hotstar users will then take up the Disney Streaming Bundle from September 1st. Hotstar US subscribers who don’t currently take any other Disney streaming service will be eligible to receive the Disney Bundle (Disney Plus, Hulu, ESPN+) through the end of their Hotstar annual subscription, rounded up to the end of the month, at no additional charge.
Disney rebranded Hotstar in India to Disney+ Hotstar in 2020, merging in all content into one streaming platform.