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Tencent investing in Bilibili; India's Jio, ZEEL strike new content deal

In this biweekly Asia video spotlight feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of news related to over-the-top, video-on-demand and other online video initiatives in different Asian markets.

Top news

* Tencent Holdings Ltd. agreed to invest US$317.6 million in Chinese online entertainment platform Bilibili Inc. Under the deal, Tencent will subscribe for 25,063,451 newly issued class Z ordinary shares of Bilibili for a purchase price of US$12.67 per class Z ordinary share. Upon completion of the deal, Tencent will own approximately 12.3% of the platform's total issued shares.

* Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. struck a new content deal with Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. that will allow Jio subscribers access to Zee's content including 37 live television channels, The Economic Times (India) reported Oct. 9. The new agreement resolves a deadlock that followed after Zee removed 35 live TV channels and more than 200,000 hours of video-on-demand content from Jio in August after failing to agree on pricing.

Content and carriage deals

* Netflix Inc. announced that its Indian original series "Selection Day" will premiere globally Dec. 28. Based on Aravind Adiga's novel of the same name, the show is a coming-of-age drama about two brothers raised by their strict father to be star cricket players in India.

* Japanese director Sion Sono will direct a new series for Netflix for worldwide distribution in 2019, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "Ai-naki Mori de Sakebe" or "Shout in the Loveless Forest" is based on a real-life multiple murder incident. It will be Sion's second drama series following "Tokyo Vampire Hotel" for Inc. Prime Video in 2017.

Service launches

* Singtel's pay TV unit Singtel TV launched e-Le, a new Chinese language entertainment and lifestyle channel that offers drama, variety shows and films from across Asia. The new channel is available on Singtel TV, Singtel TV GO and CAST.

* South Korean video streaming service AfreecaTV Co. Ltd. launched Pod Freeka, a podcast app available for download in Google LLC's Play Store, Yonhap News Agency reports. The app will be available in Apple Inc.'s App Store within this month.

* Discovery Networks Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. partnered with MediaCorp Pte. Ltd. to launch sports channels Eurosport (FR) and Setanta Sports in Singapore. The channels are available on Mediacorp's over-the-top platform Toggle.

* YouTube LLC introduced a Thai-language version of YouTube Kids, Beartai reports. YouTube Kids is an iOS and Android app which offers educational content curated for children with parental control and filtering features.

Other news

* Ltd. filed a lawsuit against Baidu Inc. and Beijing Bytedance Technology Co. Ltd.-owned Toutiao for copyright violation, and is claiming 10 million yuan as compensation, Sina reports. According to Tech Node, Baidu's cloud service allowed users to upload and share pirated content without Sohu's authorization, while Toutiao allowed clips of Sohu's popular fantasy drama series to be streamed on its platforms.

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