afaqs! news bureau

Viacom18 appoints Uday Shankar to its Board

The integration of JioCinema and Viacom18 has been concluded.

Viacom18 has announced that following the sanction by NCLT Mumbai, the scheme of merger of Reliance Storage Limited has become effective and Viacom18 has allotted shares to Bodhi Tree Systems and RIL group entities as consideration for the Scheme of merger.

Upon consummation of this merger, the integration of JioCinema into Viacom18 has been completed and Viacom18 has access to Rs. 15,145 crores of cash for its planned growth, comprising Rs. 10,839 crores contributed by RIL group entities and Rs. 4,306 crores contributed by Bodhi Tree Systems. Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar, is an investor in Bodhi Tree Systems.

As a consequence of the closing of the transactions noted above, the shareholding of Viacom18 will be:

(a) Equity: TV18 – 50.994%; Paramount Global - 48.994%; Bodhi Tree – 0.011%

(b) CCPS: RIL group entities – 82.2%; Bodhi Tree – 17.8%

(c) Fully diluted basis: RIL group entities – 60.37%; TV18 – 13.54%; Bodhi Tree – 13.08%; Paramount Global – 13.01%

The partnership will enable Viacom 18 to innovate and disrupt the M&E sector, with Uday Shankar and James Murdoch providing strategic and operational guidance to Viacom 18, leveraging their track-record of building iconic media businesses. Uday Shankar has been appointed to the Board of Viacom18. Paramount Global will continue as a shareholder and supply Viacom18 its premium global content. This unique partnership brings together India’s biggest conglomerate, two of the most recognized media industry veterans and a leading global media and entertainment company.

Viacom 18’s digital-focused strategy is already paying rich dividends with IPL’s first weekend viewership on JioCinema crossing the digital viewership recorded in the entire season last year. The platform set several new records with 2.5 crore+ app downloads in a single day, 147 crore video views on the opening weekend and a peak concurrency of 1.6 crore for the first match. This strong viewership was driven by JioCinema’s extensive fan-centric unique features like 4K feed, 12-language coverage, 16 unique feeds, hype mode, and multi-cam setup, among others.

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