Discovery Communications and Sony are reportedly to end their India joint-venture in the face to new regulations. Media regulator TRAI has forbidden the bundling of TV channels to more than one broadcaster. The 12-year joint venture, Multi Screen Media Discovery, in which Sony holds the lion’s share (74 per cent), is separating and each former partner is building their own distribution relationships.
Other similar partnerships have already ended, most notably the Star India/Zee TV relationship (MediaPro Enterprises) back in April, and IndiaCast which was a similar j-v between Viacom and local broadcaster TV18.
Seemingly, the net effect of these divorces is to see distribution fees to broadcasters rise, with the channels citing higher costs of the complete distribution chain.