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After brief delay, Disney+ to launch in India on Hotstar on April 3

Disney+ will finally launch in India on April 3, the company announced in a press release, after it had postponed a March 29 launch citing the Indian Premier League’s delay. This comes almost two weeks ahead of the IPL’s (scheduled) debut on April 15. Hotstar will premiere two Disney titles on April 2 before the full launch the following day.

Uday Shankar, chairman of Star India and president of Disney’s operations in the country, was scheduled to announce the initial launch on March 13, but the event was cancelled as the COVID-19 outbreak swelled in the country. The company later announced an indefinite delay of the service (which, as it turned out, would amount to five days).

To recap, Disney+ will be launching on Hotstar in India, as opposed to launching on disneyplus.com, as it has in other countries; the service will be rebranded as Disney+ Hotstar. While the launch is slated for April 3, we already got a glimpse of the catalogue, when Hotstar briefly rolled out the Disney+ interface and catalogue. The catalogue is still on the website, but not searchable — a Reddit user compiled working links to all hidden content here. In the days leading up to the launch, Hotstar had launched a “Kids Safe” section on its service, which restricts access to mature content.

Price increase

Hotstar said it will increase the annual prices of its Premium tier when it launches Disney+.

Hotstar VIP:  ₹365 → ₹399 (Mainly Star and Disney content in Indian languages + IPL access)
Hotstar Premium: ₹999 → ₹1499 (includes HBO, Showtime and other English language originals and Disney content in English, as well as Disney+ originals)

The price increase hadn’t been implemented at the time of publishing — we were able to renew an annual Premium subscription at the current rate.

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