Speaking at the Credit Suisse Communications Conference, Paramount Global CEO Robert Bakish said that Paramount+ will not have to invest in local content and marketing due to the company's partnership with Viacom18, which has Reliance and Bodhi Tree as key investors besides Paramount Global. He also noted that the Indian Premier League (IPL) will not stream on Paramount+. Viacom18 recently won the IPL digital rights for Rs 23758 crore.
"Paramount+, we talked about a little bit in South Korea this week, in the UK next week, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and France, in the back half of the year. We're also going to launch in India. We're very excited about that. We're doing it with our JV, Viacom18, which also has Reliance as a partner. Reliance is the most powerful company in India and now has Bodhi Tree involved too. They just got the exclusive streaming rights for cricket. Now the cricket won't be on Paramount+, but Paramount+ will be bundled with their super service. So again, we don't have to invest in local content. We don't have to invest in local marketing. We ride alongside the super service and benefit for the market, very excited about this model," Bakish said.
He further stated that Paramount can do these deals since it has been on the ground for 25 years. "We know these people, look at the Sky deal, look at Canal+, look at NENT, look at Corus, look at Viacom18. All those are the work of a decade-plus 20 years, which are now coming into streaming and we are going about it differently and we are going about it in an advantaged way. And you will see that makes a real difference in streaming in 2022 and going into 2023. So tremendously excited about what we're doing in streaming."
Earlier, Bakish had stated that India will be incremental to Paramount Global's objective of achieving 100 million subscribers guidance for Paramount+. "As I said in my remarks, we’re going to enter in 2023 in India and we’re going to do so in a very capital efficient, hard bundle way. And so, we think that’s a great route into that market. And I would also note that India will be incremental to our 100 million sub guidance. It’s early days. So, we’re still at the point of deciding what we want to put out there. But it’s definitely incremental to our guide."