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Ambani’s JioCinema secures NBCUniversal titles, escalates Netflix and Disney rivalry

JioCinema, the affordable on-demand video streaming service rival to Netflix and Disney’s Hotstar in India, will soon be home to “The Office” and other NBCUniversal titles.

Viacom18 streaming service on Monday said it has signed a “multi-year” partnership with NBCUniversal to bring thousands of hours of NBCU movies and TV shows to India. The partnership follows Viacom18 securing the streaming rights for HBO and other Warner Bros titles for the South Asian market.

The partnership isn’t exclusive, so Netflix is ​​likely to continue offering NBCU titles on its platform in India as well. Nevertheless, JioCinema scoring these international catalogs should be a cause of concern for the global giant.

JioCinema, which has attracted a lot of high-profile talent from Hotstar over the years, offers the cheapest streaming service among mainstream streamers. Compared to the standard Netflix plan, which costs $6 per month, JioCinema Premium costs $12 per year.

The streaming service, which is also home to the hugely popular IPL cricket tournament and offers a free and ad-supported tier, will debut NBC titles in India from next month in a dedicated Peacock hub on the streaming service. Viacom18 stated that the NBC title would be available exclusively to paying subscribers.

Viacom18, a joint venture between Reliance and Paramount Global, is backed by former Star executives Uday Shankar and James Murdoch’s Bodhi Tree. Bodhi Tree last month reduced its planned investment in Viacom18 to $528 million, a 70% drop from its initial commitment of $1.78 billion. Bodhi Tree plans to raise its stake in Viacom18, TechCrunch reported earlier.

More to follow.

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