Ambani’s media ambition scales peak. Now comes the tough part

A shrinking linear TV business, $2 billion in annual payments for cricket rights and money-guzzling streaming platforms threaten to dampen the post-merger euphoria.

Mukesh Ambani hates to settle for second best. As chairman of Reliance Industries and India’s richest man, he is the largest by a leap in nearly every business he runs, be it petrochemicals, telecom or retail. 

Yet, his media and entertainment business, for over 15 years, didn’t even feature among the top three in its category in the country. Network18 and its subsidiary, Viacom18, weren’t even billion dollar businesses—by revenue or valuation—until recently.  

An attempt to get rid of the business, four years ago, didn’t work. Then, a merger exercise came a cropper. All the while, distractions in the form …

Author

T Surendar

Surendar helps lead the newsroom at The Morning Context as executive editor. Over the years, Surendar has worked in industries from pharmaceuticals to diamonds, as well as a stint as an equity analyst. In his long career as a business journalist, he has led teams at The Times of India, India Today and Fortune India. He was part of the founding team at Forbes India and interned at and published in The Times, London.

Executive Editor

surendar@mailtmc.com

Mumbai