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Reliance-backed According to reports, Viacom18 would purchase 60% of Disney India.

Reliance-backed Unnamed sources told WSJ Thursday that Viacom18 will purchase 60% of Disney’s India subsidiary, establishing a $10 billion South Asian media empire.

The WSJ story stated the sale will finalize this month and value Disney’s India operation at $3.9 billion, less than half of Disney’s initial estimate. Reliance declined to discuss its Disney partnership this week.

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries, Paramount Global, and James Murdoch’s Bodhi Tree Systems formed Viacom18. According to the arrangement, Disney would control 40% of its India unit, Reliance 51%, and Bodhi Tree 9%.

In 2019, Star India helped Disney acquire 21st Century Fox’s entertainment holdings for $71.3 billion.

Disney gained broadcast and streaming rights to Indian Premier League cricket events, multilingual TV networks, and a Bollywood film production firm as part of the purchase, which helped it expand globally. Star’s Hotstar had 150 million monthly active users when it was acquired.

Hotstar dominated Indian video streaming for several quarters, but Reliance-backed Viacom18 has gained in popularity after obtaining the five-year rights to stream IPL cricket events for $3 billion. Disney spent $3 billion on TV broadcast rights over the same five-year period.

Over the last year, Reliance has recruited several outstanding leaders and engineers to grow JioCinema, adding HBO and NBC programming.

A firm Rupert Murdoch’s son James and former Star India CEO Uday Shankar spent years establishing will combine with Viacom 18. Murdoch helped Star India develop as Sky’s chairman, then part of Fox. Shankar ran Star India till 2020.

Shankar and Murdoch, who founded Lupa, founded Bodhi Tree in 2021 with $1.7 billion from the Qatar Investment Authority. The Bodhi Tree stake in Viacom18 was initially $1.78 billion but was then reduced to $528 million.

Eltrys Team
Author: Eltrys Team

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