Reliance has been forging partnerships left and right, raising unreal amounts of money for not just its digital endeavour Jio Platforms, but also for its retail arm Reliance Retail. However, in all of its partnerships, Reliance wants to be in the position of power. And the one deal, where Reliance’s role would have been reduced to a minority stakeholder, the Viacom18-Sony merger, has reportedly been called off, as sources tell Bloomberg that Ambani wants to invest aggressively in the market in a change of strategy.

A deal was proposed between Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd., a joint venture between TV18 Broadcast Ltd. and Viacom Inc, and Sony Pictures Networks India, a subsidiary of Sony Corp. While the former operates more than 40 channels in seven languages, the latter has 20 some channels, including several sports channels. This merger would have seen Sony gaining a majority stake in the new entity, but as we all know, Mukesh Ambani doesn’t like the runner-up title.

Citing sources aware of the deal, Bloomberg reports that the merger has apparently been called off, and Viacom18 will double down on its investments in digital content creation. Reliance has already taken a giant step in this direction with the introduction of fibre-to-home strategy, which allows users access to 12 OTT streaming apps, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, JioCinema, Zee5, Sony Liv, Voot, Alt Balaji, Sun NXT, Shemaroo, Lionsgate Play, and Hoichoi.

Thus, having a presence in the country’s television scene might be helpful for Reliance at the moment, especially since digital content is now a big part of the company’s game plan. Thus, it makes sense that the company wants to invest aggressively and grow the digital media business.

Moreover, this will allow Reliance to retain management control over its digital operations, which is something that is music to Mukesh Ambani’s ears. If history is anything to go by, the richest man of India is now gearing up for a war over establishing dominance in the country’s digital content market.