Upstart U.S.-Based Major League Cricket to Stream on ESPN+ Beginning July 13

The upstart U.S. professional Major League Cricket is set to begin its inaugural July 13-30 season with teams from six cities competing in 15 matches streaming on Disney-owned ESPN+. The MLC also inked a broadcast/streaming rights deal in India with Viacom 18, a Mumbi media conglomerate co-owned by Paramount Global.

While the origins of cricket date back to the 1600’s England, and the sport is considered an ancestor to American baseball, cricket has only become a hot commodity in recent years after the streaming service Disney+ generated almost 40% of its initial global subscriber base in India due to the sport.

That was due in large part to the Disney+ Hotstar platform having exclusive rights to the Indian Premier League (IPL) — a 10-city annual tournament that generates a national following in the world’s second-most-populous country.

When Disney+ lost the IPL digital rights this year to Viacom 18 in a deal worth billions of dollars, the streamer saw almost 5 million subscribers in India drop the service.

Regardless, Disney+ Hotstar remains India’s most-popular streaming platform with 29% market share (50 million subscribers), with Prime Video 12.4 million (7%) and Netflix 6.2 million (3.6%) significantly behind, according to Q1 data from Ampere Analysis.

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