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Comcast will pick up stake in James Murdoch and Uday Shankar-backed Bodhi Tree Systems

It is a significant announcement as it means that Comcast is looking to test the Indian waters, perhaps for a possible launch of its own.

A major US corporation, Comcast, is investing nearly Rs 1,600 crore ($200 million) in Bodhi Tree Systems after the Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the acquisition by NBC Universal Media— Comcast’s wholly-owned subsidiary, according to a press release. The funds raised by Bodhi Tree from Comcast will be used to invest in Viacom18 for a stake, the release added. It must be noted that the size of the investment by Bodhi Tree stands at nearly Rs 4306 crore ($527 million) at this point, marking a significant reduction in its investment committed in 2022. The firm backed by James Murdoch and Uday Shankar had earlier planned to invest Rs 13,500 crore ($1.78 billion) as per its announcement. A statement by Viacom18 revealed that it will still have access to nearly Rs 15,145 crore but most of it (Rs 10,839 crore) will be from Reliance. Why it matters: It is a significant announcement as it means that Comcast is looking to test the Indian waters, perhaps for a possible launch of its own. The company’s streaming service, Peacock, is not available in India but its content is available on various streaming platforms through partnerships. Furthermore, the reduction in Bodhi Tree’s investment is another stark reminder of the funding squeeze faced by companies all over the world. What else do we know: Viacom18 also announced that it had completed its merger with Bodhi Tree Systems and Reliance. The merger will integrate JioCinema into Viacom18, and its shareholding will be the following: RIL group entities:…

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I cover several beats such as Crypto, Telecom, and OTT at MediaNama. I can be found loitering at my local theatre when I am off work consuming movies by the dozen.

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