Reliance & Viacom18 have announced a strategic partnership with Bodhi Tree Systems, which is a platform of James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems and former Star & Disney India chairman Uday Shankar, to form a large TV and digital streaming company in India.
Bodhi Tree Systems is leading a fund raise to invest ₹13,500 crore in Viacom18, to jointly build India’s leading entertainment latform.
Viacom18 owns and operates the suite of Colors TV channels and OTT platform VOOT.
Reliance Projects & Property Management Services Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries which has significant presence in television, OTT, distribution, content creation, and production services, will invest ₹1,645 crore.
In addition, the popular JioCinema OTT app will be transferred to Viacom18.
Paramount Global (formerly known as ViacomCBS), a leading global media and entertainment company comprised of iconic content studios, TV networks and streaming services including CBS, Showtime Networks, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount+ and Pluto TV will continue as a shareholder of Viacom18 and will continue to supply Viacom18 its premium global content.
Bodhi Tree Systems will leverage the partners’ shared track record of building iconic businesses and shaping the media landscape in India and globally.
Mukesh D. Ambani, CMD, RIL said, “James and Uday’s track record is unmatched. For over two decades, they have played an undeniable role in shaping the media ecosystem in India, Asia, and around the world.”
“We are committed to bringing the best media and entertainment services for Indian customers through this partnership,” he said.
Mr. Murdoch and Mr. Shankar in a statement said,“Our ambition is to leverage technology advances, particularly in mobile, to provide meaningful solutions to meet everyday media and entertainment needs at scale. We seek to reshape the entertainment experience across more than 1 billion screens.”
The transaction is expected to close within six months and is subject to closing conditions and requisite approvals.
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