The broadcast venture of India's Reliance has struck a deal with Warner Bros Discovery Inc. for its streaming platform JioCinema, a big push into bringing popular Hollywood content on the platform, two sources with direct knowledge said.
The deal between Reliance's Viacom18 would see Warner Bros as well as its HBO content becoming available on Reliance's JioCinema app, including popular shows such as Succession, Game of Thrones and the upcoming Harry Potter series, the sources said.
The sources did not disclose the financials of the deal.
The first source said the partnership will be exclusive and see most of Warner's marquee content on the JioCinema platform. Warner cannot offer most of its popular titles to other Indian rivals including Amazon Prime Video and Disney Hotstar, said one of the sources.
"It's a deep exclusive arrangement which will make JioCinema the house of Warner, HBO in India," said the person.
Warner did not immediately respond, while Viacom18 had no immediate comment.
The content deal could bring in thousands of hours of streaming content onto JioCinema, which has become popular for streaming the IPL cricket tournament on the platform for free in the ongoing season.
Viacom18 won the IPL digital streaming rights from 2023 to 2027 for around $2.9 billion, rights which Disney previously held.
Several of HBO's top rated shows, including Succession, aired in India on the Disney Hotstar platform until March 31 this year, as part of a deal between the two companies that ended on the date.
Viacom18 recently received an investment of $528 million from Bodhi Tree, a joint venture between James Murdoch and a former Star India executive, Uday Shankar.
The first source added that Warner so far had various arrangements with Indian streaming giants, but the Viacom-Warner deal will see consolidation of that library and will include HBO, Max and Warner content, among others.
JioCinema is seeking to compete with rivals including Netflix and Amazon in a market where such platforms are becoming increasingly popular, thanks to cheap data prices.
But JioCinema is a small player. Netflix outperforms rivals in the subscription video-on-demand market, commanding a 39% share by revenue in 2021 compared to nearest rival Hotstar's 23%, according to Media Partners Asia.