Media giant Disney is reportedly closing in on a deal to sell off its Indian assets – the Star India linear broadcaster and the Disney+ Hotstar streaming service – to the Reliance Industries conglomerate.

Over the last few months, Disney has been assessing options to either sell off Star and Hotstar or find a strategic partner for them, and is now nearing a deal that would see Reliance – controlled by billionaire Makes Ambani – take a controlling stake, according to Bloomberg.

Reliance already runs the Viacom18 broadcaster and the Jio streaming platform and is reportedly prepared to value Disney’s set of Indian assets at between $7 billion and $8 billion. Disney, meanwhile, is thought to consider these properties to be worth around $10 billion.

A deal could be unveiled as early as November, although a final decision has yet to be made.

Disney would still hold a minority stake in Star (which before 2018 was owned by the 21st Century Fox corporation) and Hotstar if the deal goes through, some media reports have claimed.

The first suggestion that Reliance might be interested in taking a stake in Disney’s Indian operations came in September.

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Viacom18 has over recent years been muscling in more and more on Star India’s sports rights portfolio, and now holds domestic streaming rights to the prestigious Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket tournament – Hotstar was the previous rights-holder.

Through its JioCinema service, Reliance offered action from the 2023 IPL earlier this year to viewers for free.

 Viacom18 also, through a late-August auction, now holds exclusive linear and digital rights to home Indian national and domestic cricket matches until March 2028.

Again, the previous main domestic rights-holder for Indian home national team cricket was Star.

Star has had to adapt in order to avoid viewers switching – or continuing to switch – to Reliance and Viacom18 and is showing action from the ongoing men’s Cricket World Cup in India for free to its mobile subscribers.

In terms of other premium sporting properties, Viacom18 also holds rights to the Paris 2024 Olympics through a deal struck last December, as well as the Indian Super League soccer competition.