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Business News/ Sports / Cricket News/  How Reliance-Disney merger will change cricket streaming in India
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How Reliance-Disney merger will change cricket streaming in India

Before the Reliance-Disney merger, the two companies engaged in fierce competition for cricket streaming rights, which made customers the ultimate beneficiary

Reliance Industries and Disney India decided to merge streaming, TV assets to create ₹70,352 crore media powerhouse (Shutterstock)Premium
Reliance Industries and Disney India decided to merge streaming, TV assets to create 70,352 crore media powerhouse (Shutterstock)

Reliance Industries and Walt Disney announced the merger of their media operations in India on Thursday, creating a formidable media entity valued at 70,352 crores. Before the merger, the two companies engaged in fierce competition for cricket streaming rights, which made customers the ultimate beneficiary.

After clinching the IPL streaming rights, Reliance-backed JioCinema announced free streaming of the domestic league, while Disney streamed the ICC World Cup 2023 free on its mobile application. The sports streaming rights were one of the major reasons, Disney started the merger talks with Reliance and the global entertainment giant recorded a big hit in its India operations.

How cricket streaming will change after the merger?

As per a report by Cricbuzz, Reliance is expected to take the lead in cricket streaming with JioCinema emerging as the ultimate platform for all major cricket tournaments. Disney already has a dominating presence in cricket broadcasting on television and its Star Sports is expected to continue that hold over the television market.

It means, the streaming of ICC tournaments is expected to move to JioCinema, while Star Sports will broadcast the cricket tournaments on television including the Indian Premier League (IPL). Disney's mobile application Hotstar and Reliance's backed sports television channel Sports 18 are expected to take the hit after the implementation of the above arrangement.

Reliance to invest 11,500 crore for OTT-business

Reliance's dominating position in the OTT space came as the company committed to injecting 11,500 crore into the joint venture to foster the expansion of the over-the-top (OTT) business. This transaction will not only facilitate Reliance, a relatively recent entrant into the Indian media industry, in reinforcing its streaming platform, Jio Cinema but will also grant access to the extensive content library of Disney-Star India.

Additionally, it will allow Reliance to leverage the wealth of experience in sports broadcasting held by Disney-Star India.

 

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Published: 01 Mar 2024, 05:48 PM IST
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