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Data: Company filings; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Disney+ last week surpassed 100 million subscribers, meaning its audience is already half the size of Netflix's just 16 months after launch.

Between the lines: Roughly 30% of those 100 million subscribers (28 million) are from Disney+ Hotstar, an India-based streaming service known for its live cricket coverage.

The backdrop: When Disney acquired 21st Century Fox for $71 billion in 2019, it absorbed Fox-owned Star India, which owns the digital broadcast rights for the Indian Premier League until 2022.

  • Star India's streaming app, Hotstar, was rebranded as Disney+ Hotstar following the acquisition and is currently the only service in India that streams IPL matches.
  • In September, Disney+ Hotstar expanded to Indonesia, the world's fourth-most populated country behind China, India and the U.S.

Of note: Disney+ Hotstar users are paying bargain-basement prices for the service, which has dragged down Disney's average earnings per user.

"The rapid rise of Disney+ has captivated investor interest, but some analysts think hype about subscriber growth has obscured some troubling economic fundamentals."
Eamon Barrett, Forbes (subscription)

The big picture: Disney has lots of competition in the fast-growing Indian market, particularly when it comes to cricket.

  • Amazon broadcasts New Zealand cricket matches in India and has expressed interest in future IPL rights.
  • Facebook, which narrowly lost out to Star India for the IPL rights, broadcasts several major global cricket events.

The bottom line: While domestic sports media negotiations attract most of the attention — whether it's the NHL on ESPN or the NFL on Amazon — international sports rights grow more important every year.

Go deeper

28 U.S. citizens depart Afghanistan on Qatar Airways flight

Passengers board a Qatar Airways aircraft bound to Qatar at the airport in Kabul on September 10, 2021. Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department on Saturday confirmed that a Qatar Airways charter flight left Kabul on Friday with 28 U.S. citizens and seven lawful permanent residents on board.

The big picture: Friday's flight is the third such airlift by Qatar Airways since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, AP reports.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Smaller than expected "Justice for J6" rally met with large police presence

Police officers watch as demonstrators gather for the "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

A few hundred demonstrators were met by a heavy law enforcement presence on Saturday at the "Justice for J6" rally outside the fenced-off U.S. Capitol, AP reports.

The latest: Four people were arrested at the rally, including one person with a gun, one with a knife and two with outstanding warrants, per the U.S. Capitol Police.

DHS to increase deportation flights to Haiti from Del Rio

Migrants walk across the Rio Grande River carrying supplies back to a makeshift encampment under the international bridge between Del Rio, Texas, and Acuña, Mexico. Officials are struggling to provide food, water, shelter and sanitation, forcing migrants to cross the Rio Grande several times per day for basic necessities. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Saturday announced plans to ramp up deportation flights to Haiti out of the small Texas border town Del Rio, starting as soon as Sunday.

Why it matters: Reports have emerged of more than 10,000 migrants, primarily from Haiti, crowded in a temporary camp under the international bridge in Del Rio. Hoping to find refuge in the United States, they've had to bear with filthy conditions and the scorching sun for days, per an NBC News affiliate.