Relativity Media has struck a wide-ranging content creation and distribution partnership with Bollywood film and television network B4U, backed by a $100m war chest.
B4U CEO Ishan Saksena will manage the joint venture, which calls for the partners to create and distribute long and short-form entertainment and sports content in India for multi-platform distribution.
The partnership will provide a platform for both Relativity and B4U to co-invest and distribute local Bollywood film and television in the US and India.
The deal gives Relativity a distribution partner in South-Asia, starting with romance The Best Of Me in October in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.
The co-production pipeline includes Relativity’s upcoming Untitled Armored Car Project starring Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis for the Indian market with a Bollywood director and featuring Bollywood talent.
The partners plan to launch a pay-TV channel in India focused on Hollywood content in both English and Hindi, as well as digital streaming service RelaTV aimed at Indian audiences.
“This strategic partnership represents an exciting opportunity for Relativity to significantly expand our presence in this vibrant and growing marketplace while creating a bridge for developing and sharing content between Hollywood and Bollywood,” said Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh.
“By 2020, India is set to become the world’s youngest country, and its citizens are adopting new technology platforms – from smartphones to smart TVs – at a dramatic rate.
“We are especially excited to work with B4U and its impressive management team led by Ishan Saksena, and this joint venture positions us well to deliver enthralling content across rapidly emerging distribution channels.”
Ishan Saksena, CEO of B4U, said: “B4U has always been at the helm for delivering Bollywood content in India and internationally.
“This joint venture with Relativity is the natural step in our progression to build a creative film studio and unique technology platform.
“Our joint venture provides a platform to bring the best of Relativity’s intellectual property, production skills, and unique monetising strategies to India, while also providing Indian talent access to global audiences.
“Ryan’s vision and leadership, combined with the Relativity management team’s deep industry experience, makes them our ideal partners.”