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Disney Could Reach Deeper into India Sports, TV Market with 21st Century Fox Deal

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India's team celebrates with the trophy after it won the ICC Champions Trophy final against England on June 23, 2013. Photo: Reuters

Walt Disney Company’s deal with 21st Century Fox would give the world’s best-known entertainment company new advantages in India, such as cricket rights and local-language TV shows for the fast-growing media market, according to Reuters.

Through the $52.4 billion deal Disney would be able to distribute its programming on Star India, operator of 69 TV channels in eight languages, as well as the popular Hotstar streaming service. Disney also would gain global rights to professional cricket.

“It is an amazing opportunity to get into the best developing market in the world,” analyst Michael Nathanson told Reuters, “but it is highly competitive.”

India represents the second-largest subscription TV market in Asia, with 154 million households in 2016, according to consultancy PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which projected that number will grow to 167 million in 2021.

Walt Disney Co. has finalized a $52.4 billion deal to buy much of Rupert Murdoch’s entertainment empire, a blockbuster union that – as The Los Angeles Times says – “would radically transform Hollywood into a land of fewer giants.”

The stock deal represents Disney’s boldest acquisition yet. If regulators approve it, the Burbank behemoth would take over the prolific 21st Century Fox movie and television studio, Fox’s 22 regional sports channels, cable entertainment brands FX and National Geographic, and Fox’s portfolio of international operations.

This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.

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