Disney partners with India media giant on streaming, linear TV

Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani and his Reliance Industries has partnered with Disney to create a combined giant with two streamers and 120 TV channels.

The combined partnership will reach more than 750 million people and is valued at around $8.5 billion, according to a statement.

News of the deal isn’t surprising, given that Disney has keen on breaking into the market, which has more than 1 billion people, many of whom speak English. 

Back in 2019, when Disney acquired much of 21st Century Fox’s companies in the U.S., it also scooped up its large Star India network. 

The deal calls for Reliance to hold a bit more than 63% of the new company. Much of that will be controlled by its Viacom18 division. Disney will hold the remaining portion.

The two companies plan to merge all of their Indian operations under the new deal. It’s not immediately clear what it will be called. 

Before the deal, the two companies controlled 4o to 50% of the advertising and streaming markets in India, so combined they will be a commanding presence in the country.

Reliance holds the rights to the popular Indian Premier League cricket matches, which it took from Disney in 2022. 


“This is a landmark agreement that heralds a new era in the Indian entertainment industry,” said Ambani.

Ambani’s wife Nita M. Ambani is slated to serve as chairperson of the joint venture.

The new venture will have access to the content Disney and Viacom18’s control in India.