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Reliance eyeing Walt Disney India operations for OTT and TV business

7 Nov 2023

Disney has been looking for partners for some time, and Adani, Kalanithi Maran, and Sony Pictures have shown interest.

Since July, Disney India has been looking to sell or partner up for its digital and TV business. And Reliance happens to be a contender. This deal could boost Viacom18-Star’s market share to 35% in OTT and 40% in TV, leaving behind Sony-Zee’s 15% OTT market share. It may end up with a top line of around ₹25,000 crores and 115 channels and two streaming platforms (JioCinema and Disney+Hotstar).

Previously, Viacom18 had won the rights to IPL 2023-27, and BCCI India matches that were once Disney+Hotstar property. Adding to its woes, Disney’s deal with HBO for megahits like Game of Thrones and Succession ended, causing a 16% decline in its subscriber base. However, Disney’s decision to sell is primarily based on the US$ 44.5 billion debt faced by its US operations and falling global stock. CEO Bob Iger plans to cut costs up to US$ 5.5 billion.

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