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Reliance ADA Group, the Indian telecom and media conglomerate, has bought a 70 percent stake in Willow.tv, the Cricket webcasting site based…

imageReliance ADA Group, the Indian telecom and media conglomerate, has bought a 70 percent stake in Willow.tv, the Cricket webcasting site based in Sunnyvale, CA. The price was undisclosed, but according to Rajesh Sawhney, president of Reliance Entertainment, the company will spend about $60 million to $70 million in this acquisition and expansion together, quoted in WSJ.

Willow TV has been around for about five years, and named after the tree from which Cricket bats are made. It was among the first to start live webcasting cricket matches for expatriate audience worldwide, though a big part of its audience is South Asians in U.S. (including me). It charges anywhere from between $10 for a short series to $150 a full cricket tournament, depending on the countries and number of games involved. In 2007-08, the site has streamed most of the major tournaments live, including the Indian Premier League, Australian, South African and English cricket.

This push is part of Reliance’s big push into U.S., which is has already started with Hollywood, and has stated its intentions to buy mobile content companies in U.S. as well. It will also extend the brand into mobile and TV as well, it said. “What we are looking to do is to create a triple play, using three passions that South Asians have…One in cricket, one is [Bollywood] movies, and the third is communications, as they want to call their families back home,” said Sawhney. Probably the safest trifecta ever developed…

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