Sports

Zee and Sony Pictures Network India Merger


T

he merger between Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited and Sony Pictures Network India is nearing completion.

The deal was announced in September and gives Sony 53% ownership of the merge.

When the deal closes, Sony will have USD$1.58 billion (AUD$2.19 billion) in funds and will nominate a majority of the company’s board.

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited CEO, Punit Goenka, said: “I certainly believe that consolidation is going to benefit the industry overall.

“Zee and Sony will form the largest media entertainment player in the country.

“Our revenues on a standalone basis will be close to $2 billion, and the capital growth that Sony is going to infuse in the merged entity will really give us the opportunity to invest in premium content including sports,” Goenka said.

A focus for the merger will likely be the sports sector after Zee sold Ten Sport to Sony in 2017.

“I believe that the opportunity is great, because the digital landscape has opened up a new opportunity for monetization, which did not exist five years ago and the sector itself will see a lot more happening going forward.

“So certainly, sports will become an area of focus for the merged entity.” Goenka said.

With the success of the two companies, the entity is likely to bid on the 2023-27 Indian Premier League cricket tournament, with bidding expected to start soon.

Star TV, a part of Disney won the 2017 broadcasting rights costing a total of USD$2.55 billion (AUD$3.45 billion).

However, Goenka, believes the merger will be a major financial success.

“As in any other business, our mantra has always been to be the number one or be the challenging brand and that will be our goal here as well,” Goenka said. “We have seen great growth happening not just in India, but across the world where we have launched the ZEE5 platform and we have seen growth happening quarter on quarter.”



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