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COVID-19: Disney+ postpones full launch in India after IPL pushed ahead

Disney has postponed the launch of its streaming service Disney+ in India to an unannounced date because of COVID-19 induced delay in the IPL season, the company said in an emailed statement. In February, Walt Disney Corporation CEO Bob Iger had said that the service would release on March 29.

“We recently announced that Disney+ would launch in India through the Hotstar service in conjunction with beginning of the Indian Premier League cricket season. Given the delay of the season, we have made the decision to briefly pause the roll-out of Disney+ and will announce a new revised premiere date for the service soon.” — Disney India chairperson Uday Shankar

Disney+ content was briefly made available on Hotstar earlier this month, but is no longer searchable on Hotstar itself; the content is still on the platform, and is searchable on Google. Hotstar has already rebranded its iOS app as “Disney+ Hotstar” (hat tip to Ashutosh Kale). This rebranding has not been extended to other platforms yet.

This comes as Google and Netflix take steps to reduce their bandwidth in Europe amid fears that the pandemic will max out the available internet bandwidth. Disney, for its part, still intends to launch in France in three days, even as the government seems to prefer that the streaming service put that plan on hold.

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