A Union Of Reliance And Tata? DTH Deal May Bring India's Giants Together

Reliance Industries is reportedly currently in discussions to acquire a 29.8% stake in Tata Play, the Tata Group’s subscription-based satellite TV and video streaming service, from Walt Disney.

What Happened: Reliance likely aims to offer its entire JioCinema content catalogue to Tata Play customers post-acquisition, Business Standard reported, citing sources. This move is significant in light of Tata Play’s challenges from competing streaming platforms like Netflix, Hotstar, JioCinema and Amazon Prime.

This move is seen as a strategic step for Reliance to strengthen its foothold in India’s television distribution sector and expand the reach of its over-the-top (OTT) platform, JioCinema.

Reliance Industries is also reportedly close to inking a deal with Disney to buy out its Disney Star business in India.

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Why It Matters: Tata Sons presently holds a majority 50.2% stake in Tata Play, with the remaining shares owned by Temasek, a Singapore-based state fund that has previously been reported to be looking to offload its stake. If successful, the acquisition by Reliance would mark the first collaboration between the Tata group and the Ambanis.

The negotiations with Reliance come after Disney’s initial plans to divest its shares during Tata Play’s IPO were postponed, prompting exploration of other exit strategies. Bankers are said to be evaluating the value of Disney’s stake in Tata Play.

Despite its significant presence in the market, Tata Play has faced challenges, reporting a loss of ₹105 crore on revenue of ₹4,499 crore for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023, compared to the previous year’s profit of ₹68.60 crore on revenue of ₹4,741 crore.

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