Reliance nabs major stake in Willow

Online business specializes in cricket

In a further sign of its global ambitions, Indian media conglom Reliance Big Entertainment has acquired a majority stake in California-based Willow TV, which claims to be the world’s leading website for live streaming of cricket events.

Though the sport is little known Stateside, it is hugely popular in Asia, Australia, South Africa and, to a lesser degree, in the U.K.

Willow TV, which is based in Sunnyvale, boasts more than 1 million registered users worldwide. It recently streamed international cricket matches involving India, Australia, South Africa and England.

“The acquisition of Willow TV is in line with our strategy to strengthen our presence in the global markets and reinforce our group’s presence in new media,” said Reliance Entertainment prexy Rajesh Sawhney.

Reliance is also in discussions about investing $500 million equity in a new venture with DreamWorks’ principals Steven Spielberg and David Geffen. That deal has yet to close. Reliance Big Entertainment is part of Reliance ADA Group, one of India’s largest congloms with assets in telcos, financial services, energy, health care, digital technology and transmission.