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Why Star India Is Important for Comcast and Disney

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Fox’s assets include Star India

Both Comcast (CMCSA) and Walt Disney (DIS) are bidding for 21st Century Fox’s (FOXA) assets, which include Star India, a large business in the booming Indian market. While Disney offered to buy Fox assets for $52.4 billion in December 2017, Comcast has gatecrashed with a ~20% higher offer of $65 billion. 

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Why is Star India important for both Comcast and Disney?

Fox has full control over Indian media conglomerate Star India, which owns the rights to stream high-profile sporting events such as cricket tournaments. Star India also has a significant stake in a production company that makes Bollywood films. Furthermore, Star India’s direct-to-consumer mobile-first streaming platform, Hotstar, is gaining popularity in India (INDA) as more people are using online streaming services. Hotstar offers free and premium subscriptions for shows, movies, and sports to around 150 million active monthly users.

Therefore, according to The Wall Street Journal, integrating Star India would not only offer Comcast or Disney a significant presence in India’s growing market, but it could also help the winning bidder compete with FAANG[1.Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Alphabet’s Google] companies.

India’s over-the-top video market

According to VideoInk, Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon are competing for presence in the Indian over-the-top video market, which is dominated by Hotstar and Viacom’s Voot. Netflix, which lags behind local as well as US players, has ~5 million subscribers in the country. Amazon had 11 million Prime subscribers in 2017.

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