Although the World Cup 2023 in India was a bumper success for most parties involved and racked in exorbitant amounts of money for the BCCI and the ICC, the Walt Disney Company has reportedly made a loss of $315 million! This latest news has further fuelled the speculations of Reliance Jio and Disney+Hotstar merger this year.
Pat Cummins‘ Australia broke India’s 10-game winning streak and hammered them in front of over 90,000 fans at the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad to clinch their sixth men’s ODI World Cup trophy on November 19, 2023.
The World Cup 2023 was the marquee event for Walt Disney India are Hotstar broadcasted it on digital platforms, and the company had been hoping for the tournament to help them in their times of financial struggles.
However, according to a report in Economictimes.indiatimes.com, the operating losses from Walt Disney’s business in India have increased by 144% to $315 million for the quarter that ended December 2023. The company’s operating loss was $129 million in the corresponding quarter of 2022.
Is Reliance Jio and Walt Disney + Hotstar going to merge?
Both Reliance Jio, owned by India’s business tycoon Mukesh Ambani and family, and the Walt Disney Company, which owns Hotstar, have nudged their law firms and begun anti-trust due diligence for their reported merger. The two companies aim to become India’s largest media and entertainment business and one of the biggest in the world with the popularity of cricket and other sports growing in India.
The Economic Times reported in December that Reliance Jio and Wal Disney + Hotstar have signed a non-binding term sheet, with a 51:49 split in favor of Jio.
If the merger goes through, then is very likely that Viacom 18, a broadcaster of Reliance Jio, will absorb Star India.
Disney CEO Robert Iger said last year, “We would like to stay in that market [India]. But we’re also looking to see whether we can strengthen our hand obviously, improve the bottom line.”