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Disney Plus Postpones Launch in India, Also Delays French Debut

(Image credit: Disney+)

UPDATED ON 3/23/20: Disney said it will proceed with plans to launch Disney Plus on Tuesday, March 24 in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria and Switzerland. However, at the behest of the French government, it will delay launch in France until April 7.

The Walt Disney Company is postponing plans to deploy its new Disney Plus streaming service in India, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to massively disrupt global commerce.

The service, which got off to a massive start in North America, amassing 28.6 million subscribers from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, was originally set to expand to the subcontinent on March 29. (Variety appears to be the first to report on this delay.)

Also read: Disney Plus: How It Went From Zero to 28.6 Million in Less Than Three Months

Disney Plus is being integrated into Hotstar, a Disney-owned streaming service already established in India. The SVOD service’s launch was to coincide with the start of the Indian Premiere League cricket tournament. But that tournament, like virtually every other sporting event around the world, has been postponed amid coronavirus-fueled social distancing and quarantines. 

The tournament has been postponed until April 15 … for now. 

“Given the delay of the season, we have made the decision to briefly pause the roll-out of Disney Plus and will announce a new revised premiere date for the service soon,” said Uday Shankar, president of The Walt Disney Company APAC, and chairman of Star and Disney India, in a statement.

Also read: HBO Max, Quibi Stick with Launch Plans Despite Global COVID-19 Disruption

Notably, WarnerMedia told Next TV this week it has no plans to move off its late-May launch plan for HBO Plus. Likewise, Quibi said it plans to stick to its April 6 launch plan.