The industry giant Reliance and Viacom18 on Wednesday have announced a strategic partnership with Bodhi Tree Systems which is a strategic investor in consumer technology opportunities in Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on India. Bodhi Tree Systems is a platform of James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems and Uday Shankar and the new partnership will aim at forming one of the largest TV and digital streaming companies in India. Let’s find out more.
The Partnership That Promises Growth
A consortium of investors is investing Rs 13,500 crores in Viacom18 which is being led from the front by Bodhi Tree Systems. This investment will result in India’s leading entertainment platform and pioneer the Indian media landscape’s transformation to a “streaming-first” approach. For those unaware, Viacom18 owns and operates the suite of Colors TV channels and OTT platform, VOOT.
On the other hand, Reliance Jio’s fully owned subsidiary Reliance Projects & Property Management Services Limited which significantly dominates the television, OTT, distribution, content creation, and production services, are investing Rs 1,645 crore. Moreover, the Jio Cinema OTT app will be transferred to Viacom18. Furthermore, Paramount Global will continue to be the shareholder of Viacom18 and will continue to supply Viacom18 with its premium global content.
The chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, Mr Mukesh Ambani stated that James and Uday’s track record is unmatched and they have played an undeniable role in shaping the media ecosystem in India, Asia, and around the world for the last two decades. He further added that the company is very excited to partner with Bodhi Tree and lead India’s transition to a streaming-first media market.
Murdoch and Shankar on the other hand also expressed their delight over the announcement of the new partnership. They stated that they will work towards leveraging technology advances, particularly in mobile, to provide meaningful solutions to meet everyday media and entertainment needs at scale.
The transaction is expected to close within six months and is subject to closing conditions and requisite approvals. Once the deal is done, Viacom18, in close cooperation with Reliance, Bodhi Tree Systems and Paramount Global will aim at shaping a vision, strategy, and execution for its businesses, building on the strong existing foundation.