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Hotstar launches in the UK with an expanded privacy policy

Hotstar has launched in the United Kingdom, with pricing at £11.99/month (Rs 1,225), BizAsia reports. The service’s UK offerings include the various cricket tournaments that Star has rights to, plus Star TV shows that are broadcast on its channels in India. The UK launch also comes at the one year anniversary of Hotstar shutting down globally except India and North America.

The UK subscription charges are its costliest yearly subscription in the world, while the UK is its third foreign country of expansion after the US and Canada. This pricing is interesting. In India, Hotstar’s pricing is comparatively aggressive (read: cheap). In the UK and US, its pricing is comparable to what Netflix charges in those markets, while in India it’s less than a third of that.

A one-month subscription in India costs Rs 199, a sixth of the UK pricing, with HBO and Fox content that the UK version does not have. Of course, North America and the UK are vastly different markets with wealthier Indian populations — and a much smaller total addressable market. But with the sheer difference in content, it’ll be interesting to see if Hotstar is going to ramp up pricing in India slowly to match its foreign counterparts, or if it will continue to monetise largely with ads.

GDPR compliance

Hotstar’s privacy policy in the UK is significantly bigger from what it follows in North America and India. This is likely due to the Data Protection Act, 2018, the UK’s implementation of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The policy breaks down, in detail, what information Hotstar collects from customers in Britain, and how they deal with requests to restrict automated processing of personal data.

Interestingly, if users want to restrict Hotstar from processing their personal data, the service will simply terminate their subscription. In comparison, Netflix’s implementation of that GDPR rule is giving users the option to opt out of promotional messages and push notifications. Hotstar also gives users the right to data portability and erasure, which users will have to email the company to take advantage of.

Outside the UK, Hotstar is still unavailable in Europe and shows this error:

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