Zee Entertainment Ends Merger Talks with Sony, Focuses on Growth

Zee

Zee Entertainment has officially withdrawn from its planned merger with Sony, redirecting its efforts towards internal growth and addressing legal challenges. Meanwhile, Viacom 18’s DesiPlay TV makes its debut in Canada, featuring a rich lineup of Indian entertainment content.

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd., which had been engaged in protracted merger discussions with Sony India, announced on Tuesday that it has halted its merger efforts. The company withdrew its application from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and declared that it will now concentrate on internal growth strategies. This move also facilitates Zee’s ability to engage in arbitration and pursue other legal actions against Sony.

Zee

The attempted union of these two mid-sized entertainment companies disintegrated in January 2024 after more than two years of negotiations, ending contentiously. Sony is now seeking compensation from Zee, accusing it of not fulfilling the terms of the merger agreement. Following the breakdown of the merger, Zee also revealed plans to reduce its workforce by 15%.

In other entertainment news, Viacom 18’s DesiPlay TV channel has launched in Canada on the Pluto TV platform. This free, ad-supported TV (FAST) channel focuses on general entertainment and features a variety of compelling Indian narratives, Hindi television series, and Bollywood blockbusters. Shows such as “Naa Aana Iss Des Laado,” “Comedy Nights With Kapil,” “Uttaran,” “Mahakaali,” “Radha Prem Ki Deewani,” and “Mrs. Pammi Pyarelal” are included, all available with English subtitles.

“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with IndiaCast on the brand-new DesiPlay TV channel, offering an array of diverse content to Pluto TV viewers across Canada,” commented Vanessa Case, VP Content, Pluto TV, Canada. “We are part of a diverse country, and our aim is to curate content that resonates with every viewer.” IndiaCast is a collaboration between TV18 & Viacom18, both subsidiaries of Reliance Industries’ Jio group.

Additionally, Miky Lee, co-founder of the CJ Group’s entertainment divisions in Korea and a cinema industry pioneer, is scheduled to give the 2024 commencement speech at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. During the ceremony on May 10, director and writer James Gray, an alumnus of SCA, will be honored with the Mary Pickford Alumni Award.

“Miky Lee is a true pioneer and ambassador of collaborative global filmmaking, and we are so happy to have her share her insight and expertise with our graduating students,” stated Elizabeth Daley, Dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. “[Lee] works across borders, cultures, and genres, and champions the kinds of projects our students aspire to creating.”

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