Walt Disney in talks with Adani, Sun TV to sell India streaming, TV biz: Report | Mint
Active Stocks
Tue Feb 27 2024 12:38:38
  1. State Bank Of India share price
  2. 752.85 -0.81%
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 143.60 0.70%
  1. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries share price
  2. 1,568.05 0.71%
  1. Power Grid Corporation Of India share price
  2. 292.30 1.58%
  1. Tata Consultancy Services share price
  2. 4,078.70 1.96%
Business News/ Companies / News/  Walt Disney in talks with Adani, Sun TV to sell India streaming, TV biz: Report
BackBack

Walt Disney in talks with Adani, Sun TV to sell India streaming, TV biz: Report

The US entertainment giant’s senior executives have also gauged the interest of private equity funds considering the company is exploring a range of options

FILE PHOTO: A screen shows the logo and a ticker symbol for The Walt Disney Company on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 14, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo (REUTERS)Premium
FILE PHOTO: A screen shows the logo and a ticker symbol for The Walt Disney Company on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 14, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo (REUTERS)

Walt Disney Co. is holding preliminary discussions with potential buyers for its India streaming and television business including billionaires Gautam Adani and Kalanithi Maran, according to a report by Bloomberg. The US entertainment giant’s senior executives have also gauged the interest of private equity funds considering the company is exploring a range of options, which could involve selling part of the Indian operations or a combination of the unit’s assets including sports rights and regional streaming service Disney Hotstar, according to the report.

The asset-sale talks have already been held with billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd, according to an earlier report by Bloomberg News. Disney has been weighing strategic options for its business in India including an outright sale or setting up a joint venture, Bloomberg News reported in July after the unit lost its streaming rights to the Indian Premier League cricket tournament to Viacom18 Media Pvt. 

Viacom is a joint venture between Reliance, Paramount Global and Uday Shankar’s investment firm Bodhi Tree Systems. A potential acquisition could complement Maran’s broadcasting company, Sun TV Network Ltd., while for the Adani Group, it could help expand its newly acquired New Delhi Television Ltd. The deliberations are still at a very preliminary stage and any deal may not happen, according to the report.

Exciting news! Mint is now on WhatsApp Channels. Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest financial insights! Click here!

The discussions around the sale of Disney’s India unit show how the market dynamics have been disrupted ever since Ambani’s conglomerate scooped up the streaming rights to the Indian Premier League for $2.7 billion and chose to broadcast it for free earlier this year. Reliance scored another win by bagging a multi-year pact to broadcast Warner Bros Discovery Inc.’s HBO and other content that was previously with Disney, as per the report.

Disney is now using Reliance’s playbook and streaming the ongoing Cricket World Cup in India for free — a move aimed at clawing back some subscribers even if it means sacrificing the revenue in the cricket-crazy nation of 1.4 billion people. Disney, however, is likely getting a boost as marquee global brands line up to tap India’s massive consumer base, with advertising slots being sold at $3,600 a second. 

Also Read: Walt Disney nearly doubles parks spending, to invest $60 billion over next decade

Disney Star, which holds the exclusive TV broadcast rights for the event in India, said in a statement Wednesday that it’s partnering with 26 sponsors, including heavyweights like Booking.com BV and liquor company Diageo Plc, according to the report.

Cricket is by far the most popular sport in India and attracts more than $1.5 billion in sponsorship and media spending every year, according to Jefferies LLC, or about 85 per cent of all sports-related spending in the country.

Even as Disney Star has battled sliding subscriber numbers after losing the streaming rights to the Indian Premier League, the media group has not ceded the entire cricket business, securing the television rights through 2027. 

Last year, Disney Star agreed to license the TV rights for International Cricket Council men’s matches to ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. for four years, with Disney Hotstar retaining the digital rights. 

 

Unlock a world of Benefits! From insightful newsletters to real-time stock tracking, breaking news and a personalized newsfeed – it's all here, just a click away! Login Now!

Catch all the Corporate news and Updates on Live Mint. Check all the latest action on Budget 2024 here. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.
More Less
Published: 06 Oct 2023, 03:41 PM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You
Switch to the Mint app for fast and personalized news - Get App