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Hotstar rolls out attractively-priced Premier League offer

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MUMBAI: From time to time, Hotstar, the VOD streaming service from Twenty First Century Fox’s  Star India, has been making short-term promotional subscription offers through its payment partners like HDFC, Citibank, PayTM and what have you.

Subscribers have either been getting 100 per cent cash back for one month or two months depending on the subscriber’s card. Including the first free trial month, that effectively gives an annual subscription at anywhere between Rs 1, 800 or Rs 2,000 as compared to the monthly subscription price of Rs 199.

However, since 11 August, it has been running an extremely tempting subscription scheme called the Premier League offer, which has a sticker price of Rs 999 for nine months. The only catch: the payment is non-refundable and has to be made using a debit card and is for a limited period till 12 September.

The idea obviously is to get potential football lovers who have been fence sitting  so far to sign up with a massive discount of around 40-50 per cent.

Over the past year, the government has been driving consumers toward digital payments, and also open bank accounts. The Indian consumer – normally wary of piling too much debt – has been loathe to sign up for a credit card. However, opening a bank account normally gets a bank customer a debit card in most cases.

By pushing the Premier League offer, it is hoping to make it a very lucrative proposition for those consumers and others to start using their debit cards.

Hotstar, smart TV apps of which are in the pipeline, currently offers around 50,000 hours of movies and television content together across eight languages, and almost all major sports are covered live.  

Even as the research firm KalaGato reported 73 per cent jump in Hotstar’s market share in 10 months, that is expected to spurt further with the addition of the CBS catalogue, and of course Game of Thrones which has been in the news for its crackling seventh season and its leakage from different partners worldwide, including India.

Recently announcing a pipeline with 18 originals from India, Amazon Prime offers perceptibly the most reasonable annual plan at Rs 499. Sun TV's Sun NXT subscription plans start from Rs 50 per month. Netflix however is expensive - with plans starting at Rs 500 per month, but is reflective of the catalogue size and its target audience, the crème de la crème of Indian consumers.

Amazon Prime has reportedly bagged a market share of just 9.66 per cent, Sony Liv pocketed 6.96 per cent share and Airtel-run Wynk Movies was at 6.36 per cent, the KalaGato report had added.

We reached out to Hotstar CEO Ajit Mohan, but received no response.

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