Disney Prepares To Sell Off Failing TV Network

in Disney, Television

The Disney+ logo with a sad sitting Mickey Mouse

Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney Company is taking another step toward getting rid of traditional TV from its offerings entirely, this time by looking to sell off yet more of its operations in India to a megacorporation.

The logo for Reliance Industries
Credit: Reliance Industries

For the last several years, Disney has been locked in a battle with Warner Bros. Discovery, Amazon, and Apple to win over the streaming media market of India, the world’s largest subscriber base. Despite Indian customers paying a fraction of the (ever-increasing) cost as Disney+ subscribers in America and attempting to secure exclusive rights for the incredibly International Cricket Council, things have not been going well for the Mouse.

Indian team playing Cricket
Credit: Flickr/It’s No Game

Related: After Failures, Disney Pulling Away From Streaming Service

It appears that the company has finally decided to give up its media operations in India and is currently working toward a huge merger with Reliance Industries (one of the biggest and most diversified companies in the country), which will leave the American corporation with a minority stake. According to Reuters, Disney is now attempting to sweeten the pot and sell its significant stake in the satellite TV service Tata Play to Reliance.

This demonstrates that Disney is actively working to minimize not just its various media operations in India but also its traditional linear TV networks. Disney currently owns nearly 30% of Tata Play (along with Tata Group, another Indian megacompany); a sale the size of that to Reliance Industries would push India even further to monopolistic TV and streaming services controlled by partnered corporations.

The Disney Plus hotstar logo on a blue background.
Credit: Disney+/Hotstar

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Currently, the Disney stake in Tata Play is being evaluated, presumably because Reliance is doing all of its homework. That could be a bad thing for Disney, which reportedly lost billions in Indian market value after the sudden collapse of a deal with Zee Entertainment, which would have garnered the House of Mouse an estimated $1.4 billion in much-needed income. It is entirely possible that Reliance is so concerned about Disney’s financial stability for a potential merger, that it is requiring the company to shell out some more assets in the form of Tata Play.

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