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JioCinema and Disney+ Hotstar are reportedly considering merging their operations in the near future

Reliance Industries and Walt Disney are said to have entered a non-binding agreement to merge their Indian media operations, with plans to finalize the deal by February, subject to regulatory approval. Under the proposed merger, Reliance would own 51% through a combination of shares and cash, while Disney would retain the remaining 49%.

Executives from both companies reportedly met in London to discuss the merger, aiming to establish a unit under Reliance’s Viacom18 to gain control of Star India through a stock swap. The reported investment in the venture ranges from $1 billion to $1.5 billion, and the board is expected to have an equal number of directors from Reliance and Disney.

Reliance-owned JioCinema and Disney+ Hotstar are direct competitors. When Disney’s content deal talks with HBO and WBD shows fell through, JioCinema seized the opportunity to include the roster on its platform. It also streamed the latest edition of the IPL cricket tournament for free, making strides in India’s OTT space.




JioCinema: JioCinema, Disney+ Hotstar may soon merge operations: What this  means for users - Times of India
JioCinema: JioCinema, Disney+ Hotstar may soon merge operations: What this means for users

If the merger goes through, it is poised to create one of India’s largest entertainment companies, directly competing with major players like Zee Entertainment, Sony, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. Reliance, through its media and entertainment unit Viacom18, already operates several TV channels and the JioCinema streaming app.

The reported merger has reportedly led to a user exodus from Disney’s streaming app Hotstar in recent quarters. Disney has been exploring a sale or joint venture partnership for its India business since early this year. The outcome of the merger is anticipated to reshape India’s media and entertainment landscape significantly.

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