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HomeTechAmbani's JioCinema Takes NBCUniversal Titles, Escalates Netflix-Disney Rivalry

Ambani’s JioCinema Takes NBCUniversal Titles, Escalates Netflix-Disney Rivalry


JioCinema, the affordable on-demand video streaming service that rivals Netflix and Disney’s Hotstar in India, will soon be home to “The Office” and other NBCUniversal titles.

The streaming service Viacom18 said Monday it has signed a “multi-year” partnership with NBCUniversal to bring “thousands of hours” of NBCU movies and TV shows to India. The partnership follows Viacom18’s acquisition of streaming rights to HBO and other Warner Bros. titles for the South Asian market.

The partnership is not exclusive, so Netflix will likely continue to offer NBCU titles on its platform in India as well. Nevertheless, JioCinema’s scoring of these international catalogs should be cause for concern for global giants.

JioCinema, which has poached a lot of high-profile talent from Hotstar over the years, offers the most affordable streaming service among mainstream streamers. Compared to a standard Netflix subscription, which costs $6 per month, JioCinema Premium costs $12 for a year.

The streaming service, which is also home to the highly popular IPL cricket tournament and offers a free and ad-supported tier, will broadcast the NBC titles in India from next month in a dedicated Peacock hub on the streaming service, it said. NBC titles will be available exclusively to paying subscribers, Viacom18 said.

Viacom18, a joint venture between Reliance and Paramount Global, also counts former Star executives Uday Shankar and James Murdoch’s Bodhi Tree among its backers. Bodhi Tree cut its planned investment in Viacom18 to $528 million last month, down 70% from its initial commitment of $1.78 billion. Bodhi Tree plans to increase its stake in Viacom18, TechCrunch previously reported.

More to follow.

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