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Hotstar team sees internal movements ahead of Disney+ launch

The Walt Disney owned company has been managed by Star India and its chairman Uday Shankar since Ajit Mohan stepped down as CEO

Oct 7, 2019 by The Passage Team
Hotstar team sees internal movements ahead of Disney+ launch

Streaming platform Hotstar is undergoing a restructuring in the runup to the Disney+ launch in the United States and Canada, three people in the know told Economic Times.

The Walt Disney owned company has been managed by Star India and its chairman Uday Shankar since Ajit Mohan stepped down as CEO.

From now on, the day-to-day operations will be shared between Los Angeles and Mumbai. Hotstar’s chief product officer Varun Narang is working out of Disney headquarters in Los Angeles, sources said.

A bunch of Hotstar’s tech guys have shifted bases to the United States office to focus on live sports streaming (through ESPN+), the sources told Economic Times.

Hotstar peaked at 18.6 million views in the last IPL and brought in a record 25.3 million viewers in the cricket world cup semi-final between India and New Zealand.

“Hotstar’s technology team has a lot of expertise when it comes to handling high bandwidth concurrency. It will come in handy with all the major sporting events in the US, such as the NCAA, NBA, NFL and others like it,” one of the sources told ET.

Disney is deploying the Hulu talents in Hotstar.

“Disney has started getting some of the best tech talents from Hulu and allocating them to Hotstar. Most of the engineers are working on a social interactions product, which started 18 months back,” the source said.

Disney has also transferred a few personnel from Hotstar’s marketing team to Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Hotstar denied any realignment in progress.

"We are not aware of, and do not foresee, any personnel movements from within the Hotstar team to anywhere else. We have some of the best and brightest minds of the industry working with us, and we continue to remain obsessively committed to serving our customers in India and across the world,” Hotstar said in an emailed response to ET.

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