Discovery has signed up Netflix as its exclusive global over-the-top (OTT) partner for its new channel JEET.
Netflix will soon be the exclusive global OTT provider of JEET, a new channel launched in Mumbai by Discovery Communications. The channel, which is expected to air next month, will premiere with eight shows, including a historical program based on the 1897 battle of Saragahri, which was fought between Sikh soldiers of the British Indian Army and Pashtun Orakzai tribesmen. Another show that will launch with the channel is “Swami Ramdev: Ek Sangharsh,” which is believed to be a tell-all on the life of famous yoga guru Ramdev. Netflix will likely stream the content a short time after its broadcast, though an exact date has not been confirmed.
According to a report from Business Standard, Netflix beat Amazon Prime and Reliance Jio to become the exclusive OTT platform for the Discovery content. The streaming giant will pay a license fee to Discovery to access its JEET library, said Karan Bajaj, senior vice-president and general manager, South Asia, Discovery Communications India.
“Discovery JEET is the biggest ever attempt with ‘purpose at scale’ in the Indian entertainment space. We have done our research, evaluated India’s zeitgeist and created an entertaining yet purposeful content philosophy which will touch the heart of Indians across the country,” said Bajaj.
Though Bajaj did not disclose the investment into Jeet, media industry experts said the broadcaster, which moved base from Delhi to Mumbai last year, is estimated to be putting in Rs 5-6 billion (78.4 – 94 million) into the channel, according to the report.
Currently in India, as far as subscribers are concerned, Netflix trails behind the competition with 5 million. The leading OTT video provider in the country is Hotstar with 75 million subscribers, followed by Voot with 15 million, Amazon Prime with 11 million, and Sony which is tied with Netflix at 5 million.
One of Netflix’s greatest downfall in attracting subscribers in the country is its reluctancy to drop its subscription based model in exchange for a more affordable ad-supported model — read more about that here.