Disney and Reliance Reach $8.5 Billion Deal To Merge In India

Published: February 28, 2024

Disney and Reliance Industries Ltd. have reached an $8.5 billion agreement to merge Disney’s Hotstar with Viacom18 in a deal that gives Disney 36.84%, Reliance Industries 16.34%, and Viacom18 Media 46.82%.

Reliance will also invest another $1.4 billion into “growth capital” for the new “joint venture.” Disney may also invest but must get regulatory approval to do so. 

The new platform will be given exclusive rights to Disney content in India.

Disney is likely hoping this deal will bring some stability to India. With Hotstar, they kept losing subscribers. Plus the sports rights are very expensive and highly sought after, with this deal Disney will have access to the larger wallet of Reliance. 

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger offered this statement in a press release:

“India is the world’s most populous market, and we are excited for the opportunities that this joint venture will provide to create long-term value for the company. Reliance has a deep understanding of the Indian market and consumer, and together we will create one of the country’s leading media companies, allowing us to better serve consumers with a broad portfolio of digital services and entertainment and sports content.”

Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Mukesh D Ambani also offered a statement:

“This is a landmark agreement that heralds a new era in the Indian entertainment industry. We have always respected Disney as the best media group globally and are very excited at forming this strategic joint venture that will help us pool our extensive resources, creative prowess, and market insights to deliver unparalleled content at affordable prices to audiences across the nation. We welcome Disney as a key partner of Reliance group.”

It seems Disney has been resorting to a lot of mergers and agreements lately. Especially around sports. Stateside Disney wants to create a new streaming service with Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery to be more competitive and attractive to subscribers. 

What do you think? Comment and let us know!

Source: The Walt Disney Company

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