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Opinion
Andy Mukherjee

Ambani’s Consumer Empire Gets a Cricket Spin

Winning the rights to livestream the Indian Premier League was only half the battle. Now the world’s seventh-richest man needs to work out how to make money from it.

One dollar at a time.

One dollar at a time.

Photographer: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

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After solidifying his control of a $2 telecom carriage business, the world’s seventh-richest man is seeking his next fortune in a $1 content-streaming enterprise. 

Actually, the spoils from the digital rights for Indian Premier League cricket, snagged by billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Viacom18 by dethroning Walt Disney & Co., aren’t even at the $1 mark yet. Disney+ Hotstar, primarily a service for cricket-loving Indians that’s also available in some other Asian markets, has 50 million subscribers and rapid growth. But the monthly average revenue per user for the partly ad-supported app is just 76 cents, a drag on what Disney+ makes from customers elsewhere who pay the full cost.