The business of Walt Disney’s India Sports might have witnessed the thrilling drama of the 2023 Cricket World Cup, but the financial scoreboard paints a different picture. The company revealed a staggering $315 million (Rs 2613 crore) operating loss for the quarter ending December 2023, a 144% surge compared to the previous year. This significant loss primarily stems from the high costs associated with hosting the marquee event.
While Star India, Disney’s sports arm in the country, saw its sports revenue jump 71% due to the World Cup, the increased programming, production, and rights costs outweighed the gains, as per The Economic Times. Higher average costs per match and a larger number of matches broadcast significantly impacted the bottom line.
Despite the financial loss, there were some silver linings. Advertising revenue grew thanks to increased viewership and more ad units sold, even though ad rates slightly dropped. Additionally, Star India’s streaming service, Disney+ Hotstar, witnessed modest subscriber base growth and a significant increase in average revenue per user due to a mix of factors like price hikes and higher ad revenue.