In RIL’s push for Jio Fiber-to-Home, Viacom18 & Sony merger talks shelved
Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is bullish on growing its digital media business, for which it plans to invest aggressively in this. Corollary to this decision, the proposed merger talks between Viacom18 and Sony Pictures Network have been called off. As is known, Viacom18 is a joint venture between RIL’s Network18 and Viacom Inc.
Sources close to the development informed Adgully that Reliance is not keen on conversation with Sony, as RIL is keen to retain management control over its digital operations and invest in creating India’s No. 1 OTT destination as well as broadcast platform.
The sources further said that digital media and entertainment form an essential part of Jio’s business strategy. “Entertainment is essential to Jio’s Fiber-to-Home Plan in partnership and collaboration with content and production companies. A lot of interest has been show by content companies and production houses in partnering with Reliance and Jio investors,” the sources added.
As reported earlier, the merger deal between Sony Pictures Network and Viacom18 was in its final stages. Industry sources had indicated that Sony would hold a majority stake in the proposed merged entity, while Viacom18 would retain the remaining stake. The merger deal was to have included the complete entertainment portfolio.