If the inside reports are to be believed, Walt Disney is in talks with potential buyers for its India streaming and television business, which includes Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries. There is every chance for Jio Cinema to acquire Star TV Channels and Disney+ Hot star OTT rights. The US-based entertainment giant is in the process of discussing alternatives with various buyers, including a deal for the entire Disney Star business or a profitable transaction, incorporating a mix of its assets, including sports rights and Disney+ Hot star’s regional streaming service.
It was reported in July that Disney looking at strategic options for the business after the Indian unit lost the streaming rights to the Indian Premier League cricket tournament to Viacom18, a partnership between Paramount Global and Reliance. Disney had been reported to have approached Reliance about buying a stake in the business, according to the insiders involved in the matter. As of now, nothing is official, and we should wait for the official announcement of the same.
Disney Star agreed to give ZEE Entertainment four years to license the TV rights for International Cricket councilmen’s matches in 2022, while Disney+ Hot star would retain the digital rights.
In May, JioCinema, backed by Reliance, saw a record 32 million concurrent viewers for the IPL final, which was free to watch on the platform. After signing a multi-year deal to stream Warner Bros, JioCinema has begun charging for certain content. Discovery’s exclusive content is also available in India on the platform. Now if it also gets the rights of Disney+ Hot star, eventually it will become the number one OTT platform for the Indian viewers.