Reliance Big Entertainment acquires stake in US Willow TV
06 October 2008
Reliance Big Entertainment has acquired a majority stake in US-based Willow TV, a cricket-centric internet streaming portal.
Willow TV has more than a million registered users worldwide, predominantly in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. In 2007-8, the portal streamed all major Cricket events live, including Indian Premier League, Australian, South African and English international cricket.
Rajesh Sawhney, president, Reliance Big Entertainment said, "The acquisition of Willow TV is in line with our strategy to strengthen our presence in the global markets and reinforce our Group's presence in new media. Not only, there is considerable scope to expand the size, scale and scope of Willow TV portal, we are also looking at launching a Video-Box Service which will seamlessly integrate cricket, movie and television content on the Television Screen which would give our audience great choice and enhanced viewing experience. There is a considerable synergy between Cricket from Willow TV, Movies from Bigflix.com, and telecom services from Reliance Communications which will be now ignited."
Though the two companies did not disclose the acquisition price, Reliance is expected to invest Rs 3 billion in the portal over two years. This includes the cost of acquiring the portal.
In 2007-8, Willow TV streamed all major cricket events live, including all Indian Cricket including the Indian Premier League, Australian, South African and English international cricket.
Reliance aims to drive synergies between cricket from Willow TV, movies from Bigflix.com, and telecom services from Reliance Communications.
Willow TV co-founders Vijay Srinivasan and Sameer Mehta say, "We are very happy to be a part of the Reliance ADA Group and excited at the prospect of scaling up the business manifold. There is complete convergence of vision between Willow and Reliance Big Entertainment. The synergies from the ecosystem will enable us to offer a significantly superior product to our consumers across three screens: PC, Mobile and TV."
Headquartered in California, Willow TV claims to already have more than a million registered users worldwide, predominantly in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe.