India's Reliance has reportedly entered into a deal with Warner Bros Discovery to bring HBO content to its streaming platform, JioCinema.
Sources told Reuters that under the agreement, Warner Bros and its HBO content will be available on JioCinema, including popular shows like Succession, Game of Thrones, and the even the upcoming Harry Potter series.
Reuters Flash: Succession series will come back to India. Broadcast JV of Reliance, Viacom18, has struck a deal with Warner Bros for bringing Hollywood and international content on its streaming platform JioCinema, sources say. Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, HBO content too— Aditya Kalra (@adityakalra) April 27, 2023
While the financial details of the deal were not disclosed, the partnership is expected to be exclusive, meaning that Warner Bros will not be able to offer its popular titles to other Indian rivals such as Amazon Prime Video and Disney Hotstar.
This move by Reliance's Viacom18 marks a significant step for JioCinema in bringing top-quality content to its platform. The deal is expected to bring thousands of hours of streaming content onto JioCinema, which has become well-known for streaming the IPL cricket tournament on the platform for free in the ongoing season.
JioCinema is looking to compete with its rivals such as Netflix and Amazon in a market that is becoming increasingly popular due to cheap data prices. However, Netflix is outperforming its competitors in the subscription video-on-demand market, commanding a 39% share by revenue in 2021, compared to nearest rival Hotstar's 23%, according to Media Partners Asia.
Although, the fact that Succession, a show that portrays the ruthless competition for power within a wealthy family, is being brought back to Indian screens by a company owned by the richest man in India, Mukesh Ambani, is certainly ironic to say the least.
The themes of the show, which revolve around corporate greed and familial strife, seem at odds with the principles of Reliance Industries, the conglomerate owned by Ambani. However, Reliance has made significant investments in the media and entertainment sector, including the acquisition of Viacom18, which owns JioCinema. In this context, adding shows like Succession to JioCinema's offerings can be seen as a strategic move to capture a larger market share in India's rapidly growing digital media sector.
It is also possible that the irony is not lost on Ambani, who has been known to be a shrewd businessman. The inclusion of Succession could be seen as a nod to the show's popularity and critical acclaim, even if its satirical themes may not necessarily align with Reliance's values.
In any case, Succession is coming back (finally) and that's good enough for now.