Axios Pro: Media Deals

May 30, 2023

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1 big thing: JioCinema's major content wins

: In this photo illustration, Viacom18 Media Private Limited logo is seen on a smartphone and on a pc screen.

Photo illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Indian streaming service JioCinema has been beefing up its product through content deals with major global media companies.

Why it matters: The Viacom18-owned service has become a formidable competitor to Netflix, Disney and other U.S. streaming companies in India as an aggregator of U.S. programming and its own originals, Kerry writes.

Driving the news: Viacom18 announced yesterday it signed a multiyear partnership with NBCUniversal for streaming thousands of hours of NBCU films and TV shows on JioCinema.

  • The content will be available to paying subscribers next month in a new Peacock hub. It will include blockbusters like "Fast X" and the upcoming "Oppenheimer," along with popular shows like "The Office," per Variety.

State of play: Viacom18 is owned by Paramount Global, Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries and Uday Shankar and James Murdoch's Bodhi Tree Systems. JioCinema was launched by Reliance in 2016 and recently folded into Viacom18.

  • Last year, Viacom18 made a splashy deal by acquiring the streaming rights for the 2023-2027 Indian Premier League cricket tournament. The games were previously owned by Disney, which just reported a record loss in subscribers due mostly to losing those rights.
  • Last month, Viacom18 announced a multiyear licensing deal with Warner Bros. Discovery for its films and TV shows. That includes airing this past weekend's "Succession" finale and Warner Bros. movies. WBD also previously licensed its content to Disney in India.

Of note: Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said India is its fastest-growing market, with 30% growth in content watching and 25% growth in revenue in the country last year.

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