According to a latest report submitted by Bloomberg, Japanese giants Sony Corporation is in fresh talks to buy stakes in Mukesh Ambani owned media platform Network18 Media. At present the Japanese giant is in the initial phase of reviewing various deal structures which also includes a possible merger deal between Sony’s Indian business and Network18 Media. The discussions are still ongoing and might drag on for some time.
The deal if carried out successfully might prove out to be a win-win situation for both the companies. It will not only strengthen Sony’s local offerings by taking on its competitors such as Netflix but also provide Ambani access to international content. The aim is to tap into the thriving demand for content in India. The discussions for the proposed deal between Sony and Network18 was carried out amid intense competition between streaming companies in India to gather a higher base in India’s lucrative Digital Content Market. India’s lucrative TV market is expected to grow by 50 percent in the coming three years. The deal is expected to allow Ambani to compete with streaming companies like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Network18 Media and its affiliates have a share of 13.4 percent of India’s T.V viewership, according to their annual report. The company’s portfolio includes VH1, MTV, Nickelodeon,CNBC TV18, news portal such as Firstpost and Moneycontrol and a host of other vernacular channels.
On the other hand Sony operates in India through Sony Pictures Network India which operates a host of channels including Sony Entertainment Television. Sony has a reach of 700 million viewers in India.