Reliance and Viacom18 has announced a strategic partnership with Bodhi Tree Systems, a platform of James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems and Uday Shankar, to form one of the largest TV and digital streaming companies in India. Viacom18 owns and operates the suite of Colors TV channels and OTT platform, VOOT.
Bodhi Tree Systems is leading a fund raise with a consortium of investors to invest Rs 13,500 crore in Viacom18, to jointly build India’s leading entertainment platform and pioneer the Indian media landscape’s transformation to a “streaming-first” approach., said a press release by the Reliance Industries.
Reliance Projects & Property Management Services Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries which has significant presence in television, OTT, distribution, content creation, and production services, will invest Rs 1,645 crore, it added.
In addition, the popular JioCinema OTT app will be transferred to Viacom18. Paramount Global (formerly known as ViacomCBS), a leading global media and entertainment company comprised of iconic content studios, TV networks and streaming services including CBS, Showtime Networks, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount+ and Pluto TV will continue as a shareholder of Viacom18 and will continue to supply Viacom18 its premium global content.
Bodhi Tree Systems will leverage the partners’ shared track record of building iconic businesses and shaping the media landscape in India and globally. Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar, is an investor in Bodhi Tree Systems.
Speaking about the partnership, Mr. Mukesh D Ambani, Chairman & Managing Director of Reliance Industries, said, “James and Uday’s track record is unmatched. For over two decades, they have played an undeniable role in shaping the media ecosystem in India, Asia, and around the world. We are very excited to partner with Bodhi Tree and lead India’s transition to a streaming-first media market. We are committed to bringing the best media and entertainment services for Indian customers through this partnership.”