Hollywood Moguls Harry Sloan, Jeff Sagansky Bet Big on India’s Pay-TV Market

Videocon d2H begins trading on the NASDAQ on Wednesday

Last Updated: April 1, 2015 @ 10:36 AM

Hollywood moguls Harry Sloan and Jeff Sagansky could enjoy a big payday from the initial public offering of India’s Videocon d2H.

Videocon, a Pay-TV operator in India, began trading Wednesday on the NASDAQ, and Sloan and Sagansky’s Silver Eagle Acquisition Corp owns more than a third of the company’s (38.4 percent) outstanding equity, according to a statement.

“The company is the fastest growing satellite TV platform in India,” Sangasky told TheWrap. The former Sony Pictures co-president said Videocon d2H has grown to 13 million gross subscribers in less than five years.

Last year, Silver Eagle raised money through its own IPO to invest in media and entertainment businesses. In January, it announced it had zeroed in on Videocon. While many in Hollywood are experimenting with Over-the-Top (OTT) services, Sagansky and Sloan found themselves gravitating towards a market where Pay-TV adoption is growing quickly.

“India, over the next five years, is going to the be the fastest growing economy in the world,” Sagansky said. He noted that only 63 percent of Indian homes have a TV, but a whopping 84 percent of those households subscribe to Pay-TV.

Both Sloan and Sagansky have prior experience in India. Sloan operated the MGM channel there during his time as CEO of MGM Studios, while Sagansky helped lead the international build-out of Sony Channels.

Other Hollywood investors looking to India include Peter Chernin. CA Media, the Asian investment arm of The Chernin Group, recently invested in Graphic India, a digital comics producer.

According to Silver Eagle, Videocon d2H’s NASDAQ-listing marks one of the few times an Indian company has completed an IPO in the US, without having a listing in its home market.