Sony Pictures Networks to merge with ZEE | Media Investment | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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In a move that could create a new giant in Indian broadcasting and streaming offering a vast combined content library, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) has signed an agreement to merge with Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL).
ZEE5 22Sep2022
If the merger of ZEEL and SPNI deal goes through after a 90-day period of due diligence, the combined company would be publicly listed in India and combine linear networks, digital assets, production operations and most importantly their huge programme libraries.

The result, say the partners, would be an operation better positioned to lead the consumer transition from traditional pay-TV into the digital future. They added that the move would also benefit consumers throughout India across content genres, from film to sports.

SPNI has several channels including Sony Entertainment Television (SET and SET HD), one of India's leading Hindi general entertainment television channels; MAX, India's premium Hindi movies and special events channel; MAX 2, another Hindi movie channel showcasing great India Cinema; MAX HD, a high definition Hindi movie channel airing premium quality films; WAH, the FTA channel for Hindi movies; SAB and SAB HD the family-oriented Hindi comedy entertainment channels; PAL, a leader in rural Hindi speaking markets (HSM); PIX; and Sony BBC Earth.

For its part, ZEEL has a presence in over 173 countries and a reach of more than 1.3 billion people around the globe, and claims to be among the largest global content companies across genres, languages, and platforms. It has presence in the digital space with ZEE5 and has also ventured into live events.

The deal would see SPNI parent Sony Pictures Entertainment, the parent company of SPNI, would hold a majority stake in the combined company and invest growth capital so that SPNI has a cash balance of approximately USD $1.575 billion at closing for use to enhance the new firm’s digital platforms across technology and content, ability to bid for broadcasting rights in the sports landscape and pursue other growth opportunities. Sony Pictures Entertainment. Current ZEEL managing director and CEO Punit Goenka will lead the combined company with the majority of the board of directors nominated by Sony Group.