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Hotstar shuts service outside India and North America; introduces Premium in US & Canada

Hotstar is no longer available outside India, Canada and the US, and has launched its Premium service in North America, reports IndianTelevision. This comes right after Star won the global digital and television rights for the Indian Premier League, the most valuable sporting series from India. The company said that it would have an 'exciting new service' for users outside these territories. At US$10 and CAD$13 a month, Hotstar Premium is thrice as costly as it is in India, and is priced at par with similar services like Netflix and Hulu, which cost anywhere between $8 and $15 a month. A $192 million push Media czar Rupert Murdoch's Star, which owns Hotstar, injected $192 million into the cash-bleeding streaming service over the last six months, regulatory filings show. This investment is crucial as the streaming service prepares for the scale it needs to deliver IPL globally. While the bulk of Star's revenue for IPL will come from advertising, subscription pricing coming directly from Hotstar customers — perhaps for an ad-free viewing experience — could play a role in monetizing the media company's diverse sports rights bouquet. However, considering that Star may not make all the money that it spent on these IPL rights — or may not even want to — the change in strategy and monetization as far as Hotstar is concerned may be limited. Catalogue and app support Hotstar will soon also release apps for American streaming player Roku, and Android TV, it said on its website. While the…

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