Ground Report | New Delhi: Zee and Sony Merger; TV channels are increasingly competing with international streaming services to make room for the audience. In such a situation, the merger of the entertainment business of the Zee Group with the Indian unit of Sony is a big event.
Critics say that the company formed from this merger can match the biggest players in this market Star and Disney India in terms of viewership and number of channels.
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Zee and Sony Merger
“We have unanimously approved the in-principle proposal received from Sony and have advised the management to initiate the further process,” Zee Entertainment said in a statement to its investors.
Sony Pictures Networks India will hold a majority stake of 52.93 percent in this new company. For this Sony has proposed to pay $ 1.58 billion. After the announcement, Zee’s shares jumped more than 30 percent.
The new company will also be listed on the Indian stock exchange. India is a huge market for entertainment services, attracting leading American streaming companies like Netflix, Amazon’s Prime Video, Disney’s Hotstar.
In the past years, the number of viewers watching entertainment on the Internet has increased in India and these companies want to take advantage of this. According to EY, a global accountancy company, India’s entertainment market is worth $24 billion. It is currently one of the largest markets in the world and smartphone use is predicted to increase further in the coming years.
benefits to the audience
Karan Taurani, media critic, Elara Capital, said, “This is a huge opportunity from a synergy point of view as Sony is doing well in broadcasting sports and mainstream GEC (General Entertainment Channels) while Zee has a strong presence in the regional segment. Almost missing.”
Taurani also added, “Both have a very strong catalog of films which can be used for OTT and TV.” Among sports Sony shows cricket, UFC, WWE wrestling and UEFA football in India. It also recently broadcast the Tokyo Olympic Games.
This merger will also merge the fee-based streaming services SonyLIV and Zee5. G5 is the largest service provider of original content in India. According to the company’s annual report, it released more than 75 originals in 2020-21.