American video streaming and production company Netflix is in talks with Viacom18, part of the Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries’ media unit Network18, about a multi-year partnership to source content, said a report of Reuters, citing its three sources.

According to the report, Viacom18 would create shows for Netflix to help the US firm expand offerings in India. Citing its sources, the Reuters report said that "The scale of Netflix's ambition and aspiration in India is quite high and the deal could involve at least 10 shows, mainly in Hindi.

A Netflix spokesman in India however denied that the company was in talks with Network18 or Viacom18, but did not elaborate. A spokeswoman for Viacom18 declined to comment on whether any talks were under way, said the report.

The report, citing two of the sources, further said that Some Reliance executives are involved in the Netflix negotiations.

Launched 4-years ago in India, Netflix competes against the video streaming services of Amazon's Prime Walt Disney Co.'s "Disney+ Hotstar" and others local players.

Speaking about Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries, in recent weeks, the conglomerate has secured nearly $13 billion in investments from Facebook Inc, KKR & Co and other investors into its digital unit Jio Platforms, which houses movie and music apps, and a telecoms venture. In the month of May, Reliance’s Jio Platforms raised $4.6 Billion, which’s 85% of All PE/VC Investment in India, according a report by IVCA-EY.

In April this year, Netflix introduced new parental controls in India, including a PIN protect feature to prevent kids from accessing specific profiles. The new features were introduced at a time when people across the globe are spending more time indoors as part of efforts to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus that has claimed thousands of lives globally.

The new features are beroduced at a time when people across the globe are spending more time indoors as part of efforts to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus that has claimed thousands of lives globally.

To recall, Netflix along with Disney's Hotstar announced plans in early 2019 to adopt self-regulation guidelines for content streamed on their platforms within India, in an effort to prevent potential implementation of government censorship laws.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said in December the company planned to invest nearly $400 million (Rs 3,000 Crore) during 2019 and 2020 to develop content for Indian viewers. Netflix is looking to develop premium content in India and distribute it globally, Hastings said.

 

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