“Disney in Preliminary Talks with Adani and Sun TV for Potential India Assets Sale”

Disney in Preliminary Talks with Adani and Sun TV for Potential India Assets Sale

Walt Disney Co. is reportedly in initial discussions with prospective buyers, including Gautam Adani and Kalanithi Maran, for the potential sale of its India streaming and television business. According to individuals familiar with the matter, senior executives at the US entertainment giant have also reached out to private equity funds to gauge interest. The discussions revolve around various options, which could involve the sale of specific Indian operations or a combination of assets, including sports rights and regional streaming service Disney Hotstar.

Asset-sale discussions have previously taken place with Reliance Industries Ltd., led by Asia’s wealthiest individual, Mukesh Ambani, as reported by Bloomberg News.

Disney has been contemplating strategic choices for its Indian business, including an outright sale or the establishment of a joint venture. This consideration surfaced after the unit lost its streaming rights to the Indian Premier League cricket tournament to Viacom18 Media Pvt, a joint venture between Reliance, Paramount Global, and Uday Shankar’s investment firm Bodhi Tree Systems.

A potential acquisition could align with Kalanithi Maran’s Sun TV Network Ltd. or aid in expanding the Adani Group’s recently acquired New Delhi Television Ltd., insiders suggest. However, it is important to note that discussions are still in a very preliminary stage, and any deal remains uncertain.

Representatives for Disney in India have declined to comment on the matter, while Sun TV Network Group’s Chief Financial Officer, S L Narayanan, stated that the group does not comment on market rumors or speculation. A spokesperson for the Adani Group also refrained from commenting on market speculation.

These discussions surrounding the sale of Disney’s India unit underscore the shifting dynamics in the market, particularly following Reliance’s acquisition of the streaming rights to the Indian Premier League for $2.7 billion. Ambani’s decision to broadcast the tournament for free marked a significant disruption. Additionally, Ambani secured a multi-year pact to broadcast content previously held by Disney, further altering the landscape.

To recoup some subscribers, Disney is emulating Reliance’s strategy by streaming the ongoing Cricket World Cup in India for free, even if it means sacrificing revenue in the cricket-loving nation of 1.4 billion people.

Despite these challenges, Disney is still poised to benefit from global brands looking to tap into India’s vast consumer base. Advertising slots for cricket matches are being sold at a staggering $3,600 per second. Disney Star, holding exclusive TV broadcast rights for the event in India, has partnered with 26 sponsors, including prominent names like Booking.com BV and Diageo Plc.

Cricket remains the most popular sport in South Asia, attracting over $1.5 billion in sponsorship and media spending annually, representing around 85% of all sports-related spending in the country, according to research from Jefferies LLC.

Even though Disney Star has faced subscriber declines after losing streaming rights to the Indian Premier League, the media group has retained a significant foothold in the cricket business. They secured television rights through 2027 and, last year, licensed TV rights for International Cricket Council men’s matches to ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd., with Disney Hotstar maintaining the digital rights.

Sources By Agencies

About Digital Scoop India Team

Check Also

Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal Supports Narayana Murthy's Call for 70-Hour Work Week to Build India

“Bhavish Aggarwal Supports Narayana Murthy’s Call for 70-Hour Work Week to Foster India’s Development”

In a recent podcast, Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal reiterated his support for Narayana Murthy's controversial advice advocating a 70-hour work week, despite facing criticism on social media. Aggarwal expressed his belief that such dedication is necessary to propel India towards becoming a global leader in economic stature.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *