September 6, 2017 / 8:43 AM / 2 years ago

Star India injects $192 million into digital content arm

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Star India, a media company backed by Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA.O), has injected 12.33 billion rupees ($192.04 million) into its digital content arm over the last six months amid intense competition among online video providers in India.

Through a rights issue, Star India infused the money in Novi Digital Entertainment Pvt Ltd, which runs streaming video platform Hotstar and, regulatory filings showed.

Star on Tuesday won the television and digital rights for Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket for the next five years with a staggering $2.55 billion bid.

India’s $20 billion media and entertainment industry is in the middle of an intensifying war for content between global firms such as Inc (AMZN.O), Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) and a host of home-grown players.

Facebook Inc (FB.O) is also keen to jump on the bandwagon. The company was one of the bidders for IPL’s digital rights, along with other domestic players such as telecom operators Bharti Airtel Ltd (BRTI.NS) and Reliance Jio (RELI.NS).

Hotstar, is the market leader among India’s over-the-top platforms when measured by active subscribers, and holds exclusive Indian rights to stream many hit sitcoms from the U.S. TV channel operator HBO, including “Game of Thrones”.

Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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