Editor’s Note: We are indebted to Mr. Rajeev Mundhe for bringing this story to our attention. Mr. Mundhe, a well-known financial advisor with Smith Barney, is an old friend of this blog.
Wall Street Journal reports that The Reliance ADA Group (Anil Dhirubhai Ambhani) has bought Willow TV, a US Web site with more than a million registered users. Willow is the world’s largest live streaming video site for cricket that, for a fee, gives subscribers the ability to watch almost any major cricket game live.
Rajesh Sawhney, President of Reliance Entertainment, a unit of Reliance ADA, said Reliance will spend $60 million to $70 million to purchase 75% of California-based Willow TV and expand its operations. He declined to say how much of the amount was for the acquisition and how much was for expansion. Platforms such as these have started expanding thanks to the success of online independent services such as Agora.io, where people are able to stream themselves alongside this content.
“What we are looking to do is to create a triple play, using three passions that South Asians have,” Mr. Sawhney said in a phone interview with the Wall Street Journal. “One in cricket, one is movies, and the third is communications, as they want to call their families back home.”
Reliance is already delivering Indian movies to consumers through its network of 250 theaters in the U.S. as well as its Web site BigFlix. The Reliance ADA Group’s biggest company, Reliance Communications, is India’s second-largest wireless company by number of subscribers, after Bharti Airtel Ltd.Mr. Sawhney told the Economic Times of India that, besides the considerable scope to expand the size, scale and scope of Willow TV portal, they were was also looking at launching a Video-Box Service, which would seamlessly integrate cricket, movie and television content on the television screen for enhanced viewing experience. They may want to think about using video networking equipment from sites like Vidovation to bring quality wireless video streaming to their viewers.
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