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IndiaCast and Disney India likely to end distribution deal


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IndiaCast Media is allegedly ending its distribution arrangement with Disney India, reports Televisionpost. Disney India is moving its distribution from external channels to internal, according to the report. The deal, which was supposed to run through March 2016, is being terminated prematurely as Disney is working on putting an independent affiliate in IndiaCast’s place.

The report also states that Disney had started talks with cable TV operators. IndiaCast and Disney’s joint venture was started at 74:26, of which 74 was in favour of IndiaCast. But the partnership was dismantled last year with the change of laws in India, which dictated that content aggregators could not bundle channels from more than one broadcaster. IndiaCast and Disney had continued to work together via the distribution deal.

In January 2013, after the government mandated digitisation of broadcasting in India, TV18 Group had entered into a step down joint venture with The Walt Disney Company where TV18’s distribution bouquet IndiaCast and Disney UTV’s UGBL formed a 74:26 distribution alliance to distribute channels only in India.

In 2012, IndiaCast was created through a 50:50 joint venture between TV18 and Viacom18. TV18 held 75% in IndiaCast and 50% in Viacom18. IndiaCast would drive domestic and international channel distribution, placement and content syndication for TV18, Viacom18, A+E Networks, Sun Network Channels and Disney Channels (in the Hindi speaking markets) along with the Eenadu group after it was acquired by TV18.

Disney India runs the Disney Channel, Junior, XD, Hungama TV, Bindass, Bindass Play, UTV Movies and UTV action channels. TV18 and Viacom18 own and operate news and entertainment channels like CNBC-TV18, CNBC Awaaz, CNN-IBN and IBN7, Colors, MTV, Comedy Central, Sonic, Nick and Vh1 among others.

Previous IndiaCast deals and developments:

Late last year, IndiaCast had hired Rahul Mishra as the associate director of marketing, where he would be responsible for handling trade marketing for international channels like Colors, News18 and Rishtey as well as trade marketing for domestic channels and consumers.

IndiaCast Revenues: IndiaCast reported an operating profit of Rs 3 crore for FY14, as compared to Rs 0.5 crore loss in FY13. The operating revenue was at Rs 729 crore for the year, up from Rs 390 crore in the previous year.

Ditto TV: IndiaCast had inked a deal with Ditto TV, the online TV subscription service from Zee New Media, following which Ditto TV would get access to IndiaCast’s content from 19 television channels, including 12 regional channels, five news channels, one entertainment channel and one music channel, for its online streaming service and video on demand services on mobile phones, tablets, PCs, entertainment boxes and connected TVs.

Spuul: In November 2013, online video streaming service Spuul signed an agreement with IndiaCast, to offer TV shows from Colors, MTV India and ETV television channels. In the same year, Spuul had inked a multi-year global agreement with IndiaCast to secure streaming rights for over 60 Hindi and regional movie titles.

BigFlix: In the same year, Reliance Entertainment owned video streaming service BigFlix inked a deal with IndiaCast to secure streaming rights for Hindi movie titles from Viacom 18 Motion Pictures.

iStream: In 2012, online video streaming service, iStream inked a multi-year licensing deal with IndiaCast, to get access to IndiaCast’s library of content from a bouquet of the network’s 20 channels for its streaming and video on demand services online and on Internet-enabled devices including smartphones and tablets.

Image Credit: Flickr user NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

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