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The broadcast mergers that made headlines in India...

20-December-2017
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The broadcast mergers that made headlines in India...

The recent merger of 21st Century Fox and Disney was one of the most high-profile collaborations to have happened in the M&E industry. Worth $52 billion, it made headlines all over the world.

The year 2017 over the months witnessed several deals in television space. The Fox-Disney merger tops the chart this year but it’s not the only deal that took all of us by surprise. The broadcast space had quite an active year if one were to talk only of consolidation. Coming to India, there are several deals that have happened over last few years that stand out for two reasons, one being the sheer size of the deal and two, for the high-profile names of entities that decided to merge together. We list a few:


1. Disney first acquired a 14.9 percent stake in UTV for about Rs 1.5 crore in 2006. Subsequently in 2008, Disney upped its stake to 32.1 percent for about Rs 23 crore, which also gave Disney a 15 percent stake (valued at about Rs 3 crore) in UTV’s broadcasting unit UTV Global Broadcasting Limited. In 2011, Disney upped its stake to 50.44 percent in UTV, leaving co-founder Ronnie Screwvala and three other backers holding a 19.82 percent stake.

2. A 16-year partnership between Walt Disney and ESPN Star Sports (ESS) ended in 2012. ESS operated 28 broadcast networks in 24 Asian countries, including a number of these focusing on cricket. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which had taken full control of its Asian joint venture ESS, bought Walt Disney Co’s 50 percent share to end the partnership in the region. Later Disney joined hands with Sony Pictures Network India and launched a sports channel in 2015.


3. zee-entertainment-enterprises_1328.html">Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) announced the sale of its sports network TEN Sports to Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) in an all-cash deal worth Rs 38.5 crore in 2016. TEN Sports’ portfolio includes a clutch of channels that operate across India, the Maldives, Singapore, Hong Kong, Middle East and the Caribbean. The deal marked a strategic shift in Zee’s channel portfolio to focus on general entertainment.

4. Viacom's Indian partner, Network18, was acquired by Reliance Industries for Rs 68 crore via its affiliate Independent Media Trust. Diversified broadcasting and media entity Network18 and Viacom run an equal joint venture Viacom18, whose broadcasting interests here include MTV India, Vh1 India, Comedy Central, Nick India and flagship Hindi entertainment channel Colors, among others.

5. Reliance Capital has divested its 100 per cent stake in its television broadcasting business and 49 per cent in its radio business to Subhash Chandra’s Zee Group for an enterprise value of ₹1,900 crore. The radio broadcasting business, operated by Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd, holds 45 operational licences (issued under Phase II and migrated to Phase III) and 14 new licences (issued under Phase III). Under the TV business, Zee acquired two operational general entertainment channels - Big Magic and Big Ganga and four other TV licences. Big Magic is a comedy channel catering to Hindi speaking markets. BIG Ganga is a leading Bhojpuri entertainment channel catering to audience in Bihar, Jharkhand and Purvanchal.

6. In October this year, Zee announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 9X Media and its subsidiaries from New Silk Route and other shareholders for ₹160 crore. 9X Media, along with its subsidiaries, operates a bouquet of six music channels - 9XM (Latest Bollywood), 9X Jalwa (Evergreen Hindi), 9X Jhakaas (Marathi), 9X Tashan (Punjabi), 9XO (English), 9X Bajao (Hindi Classics). On completion of the acquisition, these channels will be added to ZEEL’s current portfolio of 33 channels.

Tags Disney Star India Network Subhash Chandra Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd

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