Indian Economy News

Reliance and Disney form a joint venture to merge TV, OTT business in India.

  • IBEF
  • February 29, 2024

Reliance Industries, Viacom18 Media, and The Walt Disney Corporation have inked a deal to establish a joint venture to merge the television and digital streaming operations of Viacom18 and Star India, paving the way for creating a giant entertainment entity in India. The joint venture, valued at US$ 8.5 billion (Rs. 70,352 crore) post-money, excludes synergies, as highlighted in a joint statement. Under this arrangement, Viacom18's media business, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), will merge into Disney-owned Star India Private through a court-approved scheme. Reliance Industries will inject US$ 1.4 billion (Rs. 11,500 crore) into the joint venture to facilitate its post-closure growth strategy. Ms. Nita M Ambani will serve as the venture's chairperson, with Mr. Uday Shankar, a seasoned media professional, appointed vice-chairperson.

The joint venture will be predominantly controlled by RIL, holding 16.34% directly and 46.82% through Viacom18, while Disney will possess the remaining 36.84%. Mr. Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and MD of RIL, hailed the agreement as a transformative development in India's entertainment landscape. Mr. Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, lauded India's vast market potential and underscored the partnership's aim to create enduring value. Mr. Uday Shankar, co-founder of Bodhi Tree Systems, emphasized the joint venture's commitment to delivering unparalleled value to audiences, advertisers, and partners, positioning it as a pivotal force in shaping India's entertainment future and advancing the Digital India initiative. The joint venture will integrate a wide array of media assets spanning entertainment and sports, including popular channels like Colors, StarPlus, StarGOLD, and Star Sports, along with access to highly anticipated events across television and digital platforms through JioCinema and Hotstar. With a viewership base exceeding 750 million across India and catering to the global Indian diaspora, the joint venture is poised to redefine the entertainment landscape.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.