Sony Corp., Japan’s globally reputed conglomerate, has announced that it is in strategic discussions with billionaire business personality, Mr. Mukesh Ambani, to acquire a significant stake in the Indian television network running under the leadership of Mr. Ambani. The firm aspires to take advantage of the flourishing demand for content in the South Asian nation, as per the news given by sources.
As per the reports, Sony Corp. is presently scrutinizing Ambani’s Network18 Media and Investments before cementing any collaboration with the Ambani Group. The conglomerate giant is contemplating an array of critically important deal structures that includes a bid for the firm or a merger of its native business with Network18’s entertainment channels.
The talks between the two leading business entities are still in the nascent stage. The shares of Network 18 showed an increase as high as 19 percent on Thursday. On the other hand, TV18 Broadcast surged by 9.7%. Where a profitable deal between Sony and Reliance Group will help the former to trigger its local offerings and give a stiff competition to rivals like Netflix, the latter will get an exposure of the international offerings and content.
Interestingly, in recent years, Mukesh Ambani helmed Reliance Jio Infocomm has indulged in an investment of $50 billion in the sector to fuel India’s telecommunication sector, thereby allowing the customers to enjoy local and overseas content in a convenient manner.
In recent times, online streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime of Amazon.com Inc. are enjoying a roaring success through their world-class offerings at convenient charges. The wide range of content coming from different boundaries of the world has given these online streaming platforms an undue advantage over the customers. Jio is finding it difficult to compete because of its limitation towards the display of content, and so the news of deals with Sony becomes crucial.
“India is a massive OTT market, and any international OTT play will need to bolster its local strategy. More partnerships or strategic alliances like this are likely in the next year or so,” said Utkarsh Sinha, managing director of Bexley Advisors.
Sony is a well-known network operating in the South Asian country via Sony Pictures Networks India, which owns an array of channels, including Sony Entertainment Television. The channel has a strong base of customers of over 700 million viewers in India.
Last month, Reliance Industries revealed its plans to launch a digital services holding firm to achieve its aim for the setting up of an e-commerce platform which has the potential to give competition to Amazon.com and Walmart Inc.’s Flipkart Online Services Pvt.