Saturday, 5 January 2019

Reliance Jio, Star India in five-year deal for cricket telecast on JioTV

The Reliance Jio-Star India deal will cover all cricket matches, including Test matches, for telecast on JioTV

Reliance Jio director Akash Ambani. Reliance Jio is betting big on the content space by making strategic acquisitions and partnerships. Photo: PTI 

: Reliance Jio has entered into a 5-year partnership with India’s leading broadcaster, Star India, to provide India cricket content to all 4G users on JioTV platform and Hotstar in the country. This partnership will cover T20 and one-day internationals (ODI) matches, international test cricket and premier domestic competitions of the BCCI. 

“Every Indian must have access to the best sporting events as well as quality and affordable bandwidth to consume the content. With this partnership, we intend to address both these objectives of providing the best sporting content with the best digital infrastructure to the Jio users. Jio promises to and will continue to bring a superlative customer experience in the areas of sports, AR, VR, Immersive viewing and more in the coming days,” Akash Ambani, Director, Jio, said in a statement.

“Indian cricket under BCCI is one of the most compelling properties in the world and we are excited to apply the same lens of innovation and re-invention to the property that we have applied to other sports in the last few years,” said Sanjay Gupta, Managing Director, Star India.

"With a new partner in Reliance Jio, we will have even more opportunities to raise the bar for cricket fans," Gupta added.

Reliance Jio aims to focus on producing in-house web series and shows for its subscribers, besides aggregating content from various OTT players in the country.

Jio's bigger rival Bharti Airtel had previously inked a strategic partnership with Star TV's Hotstar to bring digital content from the OTT platform’s portfolio to Airtel customers. The deal was aimed at expanding Airtel TV app’s wide range of offerings and expand the footprint for Hotstar’s content across Airtel’s large mobile customer base. 

The Sunil Mittal-led telco is aggressively ramping up its content offerings through Airtel TV and its music streaming app to expand its share of 4G customers in a highly competitive telecom market. Airtel already offers Amazon and Netflix subscriptions to its postpaid customers through various high-value plans. It already has partnerships with Eros NOW, Sony LIV, Hooq, AltBalaji and several others.yoUb

Airtel recently entered into a 3-year multi-layered partnership with Indian media conglomerate Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE). As part of the strategic partnership, Airtel and Zee will work closely on creating exclusive video content for Airtel’s video-on-demand app Airtel TV and ZEE’s over-the-top (OTT) app ZEE5. 

Notably, ZEE removed all its content from Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Jio after a disagreement over price. However, both the companies are renegotiating the deal.

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