Reliance's Jio Cinema & Disney Plus Hotstar OTT platforms announce merger!

PUBLISHED DATE : 28/Feb/2024

Reliance's Jio Cinema & Disney Plus Hotstar OTT platforms announce merger!

Major news in the Indian entertainment on Wednesday is the big OTT and TV merger between industry giants Reliance and Disney Star. Announcing their 'strategic joint venture' on February 28, 2024, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), Viacom 18 Media Private Limited and The Walt Disney Company said in a statement that 


a) the businesses of Viacom18 and Star India will be combined

b) Reliance will invest Rs. 11,500 Cr. (USD 1.4 billion) into the joint venture

c) Reliance will control the joint venture with a 16.34% stake, whereas Viacom18 will be major shareholder with 46.82% and Disney with 36.84%

d) OTT/digital streaming platforms  Jio Cinema and Disney Plus Hotstar will share content

e) TV channels like Colors, Star Plus, Star Sports, etc will be brought under the same bracket, sharing content as well

f) Disney will provide license to more than 30,000 content assets


The Reliance-Disney Star TV and OTT merger in India, comes only a month after the nasty fallout between Zee and Sony over a proposed merger of TV content in the country. Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company said of the merger,


"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,"


"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", said Mukesh D Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries. 


In April 2023, the Jio Cinema OTT platform became a part of the Viacom18 portfolio after a strategic partnership among Reliance, Bodhi Tree Systems, and Paramount Global. Uday Shankar, co-founder of Bodhi Tree Systems said of the latest merger with Disney, "This joint venture is poised to shape the future of entertainment in India and accelerate the Prime Minister’s vision of making Digital India a global exemplar."

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