The acquisition will make Disney India’s leading film studio, and will produce both UTV and Disney-branded local films. It will also enable Disney to integrate UTV’s current operations.
UTV is the leading TV producer in India with distribution in 20 countries in seven languages across 27 channels. It is also a leading broadcast network in the country. After the transaction, Disney will reach more than 100 million viewers weekly in households across India. Disney will also gain a significant presence in digital media with the addition of UTV’s Indiagames to its portfolio.
UTV chief executive officer Ronnie Screwvala has been named managing director, The Walt Disney Company India, reporting to Andy Bird, chairman, Walt Disney International.
"Increasing our brand presence and reach in key international markets is a cornerstone of our growth strategy," says Bird. "This acquisition expands our footprint significantly and allows us to more effectively build, monetize and brand multi-platform franchises, and deliver a rich library of content to the world’s second largest population. We couldn’t be more pleased that Screwvala, with his vast experience and proven track record, will now run our operations in India. Under his leadership, we will be able to deliver more programming on more platforms to this considerable audience."