“The announcement can come later this week or early next week. The sharing of information is on and books will be closed by March 31,” Business daily Economic Times has reported quoting sources. The changes will lead to major reshuffling in the teams.
Disney India country head Abhishek Maheshwari will take over the English and kids clusters along with live events of the merged entity. This will include Star World, Star Movies and the kids channels from the Disney stable.
The merger will catapult Walt Disney to the top seat in the Indian entertainment genre as it will own rights of some of the biggest media properties like the Indian Premier League, the English Premier League (EPL), top regional language and Hindi TV shows, and films.
Disney will now have assets across broadcasting, digital, film, entertainment and sports in India, along with about 30% of Tata Sky and a fourth of the equity in leading production house Endemol Shine India.
The merged company will have close to 80 channels, up from Disney’s eight channels now, with leading brands across Hindi, Bengali and Malayalam in the general and mass-entertainment space.