Disney India Agrees To Sell Its 60% To Viacom18

Broadcasting companies Sony and Zee were in talks of merging, but that fell apart due to financial and internal issues. However, in a historic deal, Disney India has now come to a preliminary agreement to sell 60% of its business to Reliance’s Viacom18. This means most of Disney’s business rights will go to Viacom18 and Reliance. 

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Viacom18 will pay $1.5 billion in cash and stocks in return for claiming its share in the merger. The report also stated that the global media giant will retain 40% of the merger while the other 60% will be shared between two entities: Reliance and Bodhi Tree. Reliance is aiming to get around 51% of the company, while Bodhi Tree will aim for 7-9%. Disney+Hotstar offers a wide variety of content from Marvel Movies and the most famous cartoon in India to Indian soap operas. 

Previously, Disney India was valued at $10 billion, but, as per a report by Bloomberg, the American media giant is now worth around $4.5 billion. The reason for this depreciation in brand value is Disney’s inability to secure 2 very important deals. First was the IPL streaming rights deal. Disney+hoststar lost the streaming rights of IPL to JioCinema. Moreover, the platform also had to bid farewell to HBO streaming rights. These two deals played an important role in making this deal happen. Also,  various reports have revealed that Disney+Hoststar was not able to get new subscribers, and their growth in the last quarter of 2023 was 0%. 

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