Television

Viacom18-SPN merger deal likely to happen by mid-August: reports

Merged entity is expected to start operations only by the end of 2021.

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MUMBAI: A merger of Sony Pictures Networks and Viacom18 Media is likely to be formally announced by mid-August, according to a Hindustan Times’ report.

The leading daily also mentioned that the merged entity is expected to start operations only by the end of 2021.

Viacom18 is a 51:49 joint venture between Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL)-owned Network18 and US-based Viacom Inc.

The merger has been in the process for almost a year and a half and it will see Sony take a majority stake of 74 per cent in Viacom while the latter will own the remaining 26 per cent.

The above said deal is aimed at providing RIL a greater control over the entertainment industry. It will eventually help it maintain the content pipeline for distribution on its cable service provider   DEN and Hathway. Also, it will help its broadband and Internet service JioFiber.

“It gives a lot more muscle to Reliance as a distribution-oriented company with this dedicated content pipeline behind them,” mentioned Hindustan Times based on a source.

The proposed merger with Viacom18 will help Sony to expand its footprint in the overall entertainment sector. Because apart from its Hindi general entertainment channel, Viacom18 has regional language and children channels as well where Sony is lacking.

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