After Disney Merger, Reliance Now Set To Acquire Paramount's Stake In Viacom18

Paramount Global, home to the likes of CBS and MTV, is in discussions to sell its share in Viacom18, a joint venture in India, to Reliance Industries, owned by Asia’s wealthiest individual, Mukesh Ambani.

What Happened: According to a Bloomberg report, Paramount’s decision to offload assets, including its Simon & Schuster publishing arm, is part of a broader strategy to lighten its debt load. The sale of its stake in Viacom18 could rake in around $550 million (₹4,555 crore), offering a much-needed boost to its financial health.

Viacom18, under Reliance’s umbrella, has been at the forefront of the conglomerate’s push into media, marking a pivot from its traditional focus on fossil fuels to more consumer and technology-oriented businesses. This venture gained significant momentum when it secured streaming rights for the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches, outmanoeuvring Walt Disney Co. in a high-stakes bid.

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Why it matters: This development follows Disney’s strategic decision to merge its Indian media operations with Reliance, creating a new entity valued at $8.5 billion, with Reliance holding a 63% majority stake. This merger is a clear sign of international corporations making way for local giants in the competitive Indian market.

Moreover, Ambani’s decision to offer IPL broadcasts for free has dramatically shifted the dynamics of sports broadcasting in India, further challenging Disney’s foothold in the country. This is compounded by Viacom18’s recent agreement to distribute Warner Bros Discovery’s programming, signalling another setback for Disney in India.

Sony Group, another contender in the market, also faced a setback as its planned merger with Zee Entertainment Enterprises fell through, underscoring the turbulent and competitive nature of India’s media landscape.

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Posted In: EntertainmentM&ANewsRumorsTechMediaGeneralParamount GlobalRelianceViacom 18