Reliance and Disney Announce New Joint Venture in India: Here’s What it Means

  • Reliance will now control Disney’s TV and OTT divisions in India.
  • Disney will continue operating in India and provide additional media assets to Reliance for the new partnership.

Reliance and Disney have officially announced a new joint venture in the entertainment industry in India. The new partnership will unite Star TV Network, Sports18 TV, Hotstar and JioCinema under one umbrella. Reliance will hold a majority stake in the partnership, and the JV aims to transform the country’s digital entertainment segment.

Reliance-Disney Joint Venture: What it means

The Reliance-Disney deal was in the talks for a long time, and at one point, Disney was looking to sell all of its Indian assets and exit the market. However, Disney CEO Bob Iger later confirmed that the company wants to stay in India as it sees the region as an emerging market.

Instead of leaving India, Disney has entered a new partnership with the Reliance Group. The joint venture between the two parties is valued at Rs 70,000 crores. Viacom18, a subsidiary of Reliance, will have a 46.82% stake in the partnership, with Reliance Industries having 16.34% and Disney having a 36.84% stake, respectively. The Reliance Group will control the JV. Reliance will also invest Rs 11,000 crores in the partnership to boost growth.

Will Hotstar and JioCinema merge into one app?

Reliance and Disney say that the new partnership will bring together all Star TV Network, Hotstar, Sports18, and JioCinema content. However, the companies have NOT disclosed the exact name of the platform where all of this content will be made available.

Considering that the Reliance Group is a major stakeholder in the joint venture, it is more likely that the content will be provided on the JioCinema app. An official confirmation is still awaited.

Unless JioCinema and Disney+Hotstar make any changes to their respective platforms, existing premium subscribers of both services will have to continue paying for the subscriptions separately. We can expect more details on subscription plans to be revealed in the next few days.