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Despite $8.5 BILLION Merger, Disney’s Streaming Will Take a Hit

disney reliance merger streaming
Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney Company and Reliance Industries Ltd. are about to enter a historic merger worth $8.5 billion, but somehow, Disney’s streaming business will still suffer a hit.

The Walt Disney Company has become one of the most culturally significant entertainment companies in the world, and it didn’t get here by accident. Through many strategic maneuvers over the years, along with a healthy dose of luck, Disney made its way to the top.

Now, at a time when the company is strategizing to ensure it has a real future, it’s working on a huge merger with the Indian company Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd. However, despite the big price tag for this strategic joint venture, one aspect of Disney’s business that it’s been struggling with might take a hit.

The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company / Credit: The Walt Disney Company

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According to reports from Mint, Disney will be relinquishing streaming rights to ICC cricket matches to JioCinema, Reliance’s streaming platform.

Mint wrote, “…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.” 

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Despite this, all is certainly not lost for Disney. Disney CEO Bob Iger has made clear previously that he would like for Disney to remain in India, and considering how the company has been struggling, this is certainly an astute decision.

Importantly, while Disney will relinquish cricket streaming rights, Reliance will invest an enormous amount of money into the strategic joint venture: think 11,500 crore (i.e., about $1.3 million) to foster the expansion of the over-the-top (OTT) business.

bob iger and Disney

Disney CEO Bob Iger / Credit: Disney

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Mukesh Ambani’s wife, Nita Ambani, is speculated to chair the venture, though nothing has been confirmed yet. The merger will certainly be one worth watching in the future, as it creates an empire on a scale that is unimaginable in the world of entertainment.

What do you think of the Disney-Reliance merger? Let us know in the comments! 

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

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