Viacom18 and JioCinema Emerge as Top Players in India's $28 Billion Media Market

Viacom18 and JioCinema emerge as leading contenders in India's $28 billion media market, with high-stakes IPL rights battle and RIL-Disney joint venture set to reshape the industry landscape.

Rafia Tasleem
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Viacom18 and JioCinema Emerge as Top Players in India's $28 Billion Media Market

Viacom18 and JioCinema Emerge as Top Players in India's $28 Billion Media Market

Viacom18 and JioCinema have positioned themselves as the leading contenders in India's rapidly growing $28 billion media and entertainment industry. Viacom18, a joint venture between Reliance Industries and Paramount Global, has been making significant investments and acquisitions to bolster its market presence. Meanwhile, JioCinema, owned by Reliance Jio, has also been aggressively expanding its content offerings and user base.

The intense competition between these two players was highlighted by their bidding for the digital and television rights for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 tournament. Viacom18 secured the digital rights for the Indian subcontinent for approximately Rs 23,758 crore, while Star Sports acquired the television rights for nearly Rs 23,575 crore. JioCinema will be live-streaming all the IPL matches for free on its platform, accessible on mobile devices and Smart TVs.

Why this matters: The high-stakes battle for IPL rights underscores the immense value and growth potential of India's media and entertainment market. The success of Viacom18 and JioCinema in this space could reshape the industry landscape and set new benchmarks for content distribution and viewer engagement.

In a significant development, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and The Walt Disney Company have entered into a binding agreement to establish India's largest entertainment and sports company. The media undertaking of Viacom18 will be merged into Star India Pvt Ltd, with the total valuation of the joint venture estimated at Rs 70,352 crore ($8.5 billion). RIL will invest Rs 11,500 crore ($1.4 billion) into the joint venture, with Nita Ambani, wife of Mukesh Ambani, serving as the chairperson of the merged entity and former Disney executive Uday Shankar as vice-chairperson.

The new venture will be controlled by RIL, with ownership stakes of 16.34% by RIL, 46.82% by Viacom18, and 36.84% by Disney. The transaction is expected to be finalized by the last quarter of 2024 or the first quarter of 2025. The joint venture aims to bring together leading TV and digital streaming platforms for entertainment and sports content in India, reaching over 750 million viewers across the country and the Indian diaspora worldwide.

The IPL 2024 tournament will be played across 12 different stadiums in India, with the opening match starting at 8:00 PM and the remaining matches beginning at 7:30 PM. Fans will have the opportunity to watch the IPL matches for free on the JioCinema app, which is available on multiple platforms.

As Viacom18 and JioCinema continue to make significant progress in India's media and entertainment industry, their strategic moves and partnerships are poised to reshape the market dynamics. With the upcoming IPL 2024 and the formation of the RIL-Disney joint venture, these players are well-positioned to capitalize on the immense growth potential and capture a larger share of the $28 billion market.

Key Takeaways

  • Viacom18 and JioCinema are leading contenders in India's $28B media industry.
  • Viacom18 won IPL 2024 digital rights, while Star Sports got TV rights; JioCinema to stream IPL for free.
  • Reliance and Disney to merge media assets, creating India's largest entertainment and sports company.
  • IPL 2024 matches to be played across 12 stadiums in India, with 8 PM and 7:30 PM start times.
  • Viacom18 and JioCinema's strategic moves are reshaping India's $28B media and entertainment market.