The Indian arm of Sony, a Japanese giant, has agreed to merge with local rival Zee Entertainment to become the country’s second-largest entertainment network.
Over 75 television networks, film assets, and two streaming platforms will be part of the combined company.
It is on track to become a key participant in the country’s rapidly expanding entertainment industry, competing with rivals like Walt Disney’s Hotstar.
There are about 900 million television viewers in India, with over 800 stations to choose from.
Sports, melodramas, and reality television are all available on these networks.
The combined business will be approximately 51 percent controlled by Sony Pictures Networks India, according to the deal, which was announced on Tuesday (SPNI). Following a 90-day due diligence phase, it will be led by Zee Chief Executive Officer Punit Goenka.
Both companies have a long history in India and hold the streaming services ZEE5 and SonyLIV. They also have a large television audience, thanks to famous channels like Sony MAX and Zee Entertainment TV.
Whilst the majority of Indians still rely on direct-to-home television for entertainment, the country is also a valuable location for streaming services looking to reach a young digital audience.
As more people abandon television in favor of digital content, streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hotstar have risen in popularity in recent years.
According to experts, the Sony-Zee merger will ratchet up the competition even more.