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CEO Bob Iger Affirms Disney’s Interest in the Indian Market Despite Challenges

In recent weeks, speculations surrounding Walt Disney’s operations in India have circulated, hinting at a potential exit from the market due to persistent losses. However, Disney CEO Bob Iger has firmly dispelled these rumors, emphasizing the company’s commitment to the Indian market during a recent earnings call.

Commitment to the Indian Market

Bob Iger acknowledged the challenges faced by certain aspects of Disney’s operations in India but highlighted the profitability of their linear business in the country. He stated, “In India, our linear business actually does quite well. Yes, it’s making money. But we know that other parts of that business are challenged for us and for others. But we’re considering our options there. We have an opportunity to strengthen our hand.”

Despite the challenges, Disney remains dedicated to the Indian market, viewing it as a strategic opportunity for growth. Iger expressed the company’s interest in staying in India, recognizing it as one of the most populous countries globally.

Disney+ Hotstar Subscribers and Revenue Increase

In the fiscal quarter ending on September 30, 2023, Disney+ Hotstar reported 37.6 million paid subscribers, marking a 7% decrease from the previous quarter. Despite this decline, the platform remains a significant player in the Indian streaming market. Disney is actively exploring options to enhance its position in India, considering potential partnerships, or even the sale of certain assets.

Challenges and Strategic Considerations

Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, including Star India, in 2019 positioned the company as a major player in the Indian media landscape. However, challenges, particularly in the Star Sports business, have led to operating losses. Talks have emerged about potential sales or joint ventures involving Disney’s Star assets, with discussions reportedly underway with Reliance, Adani Group, and other entities.

A former Disney executive revealed internal debates within the company regarding its Indian business operations, emphasizing the significance of Disney’s presence in India as the fastest-growing major economy. The company’s revenue report for the quarter ending on September 30, 2023, showed a positive trajectory, with an increase to $21.24 billion compared to the previous year’s $20.1 billion, reflecting a 7% annual revenue growth from 2022 to 2023.

For more updates stay tuned to FELA News!

Source: Times of India

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