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Disney will officially buy 21st Century Fox's film and TV assets

12.14.2017

After a week of anxious speculation, it’s finally official that Disney will acquire 20th Century Fox and other entertainment assets from 21st Century Fox in a historic deal that will cost $66 billion (including debts) and will see the Walt Disney company expand its film and television empire. In other words, the House of Mouse should see about upgrading to a castle.

 As part of the deal, Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger will extend his contract through 2021 in order to oversee the absorption of 20th Century Fox, which between numerous regulatory reviews and shareholder approvals could take anywhere between 12-18 months. Iger spoke about the acquisition, saying:

“The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from 21st Century Fox reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before. We’re honored and grateful that Rupert Murdoch has entrusted us with the future of businesses he spent a lifetime building, and we’re excited about this extraordinary opportunity to significantly increase our portfolio of well-loved franchises and branded content to greatly enhance our growing direct-to-consumer offerings. The deal will also substantially expand our international reach, allowing us to offer world-class storytelling and innovative distribution platforms to more consumers in key markets around the world.

Included in the deal is Disney’s purchase of Fox’s film and TV studio, their 30% stake in Hulu (giving Disney 60%), the National Geographic and FX cable business, its 39% stake in mega European TV provider, Sky and more. As for intellectual property, this gives Disney control of such film franchises as X-MEN, FANTASTIC FOUR, AVATAR, DIE HARD, KINGSMAN, PLANET OF THE APES, etc, and TV properties like THE SIMPSONS, FAMILY GUY and more. Even though Disney bought Lucasfilm, Fox still owned the rights to one STAR WARS movie, A NEW HOPE, which is now under Disney's ownership. However, Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News, and several Fox Sports outlets will be spun-off into their own new company. No one knows if this means Fox News will get a new, gritty, down-to-earth reboot from Christopher Nolan, but we’ll see.

Though the deal still has face “stiff regulatory hurdles,” this means Disney is able to expand itself even further in the realm of TV and movies. As Disney moves forward with plans to launch their own streaming service, the deal makes it a fierce competitor to the likes of streaming giant Netflix. Word is this competition from streaming services, as well as other challenges in the industry, is a big reason why some think the Murdoch family decided to sell the company to Disney.

Taking so long for the deal to be finalized in a regulatory capacity is what may stop Disney from getting right to work with new film franchises, but, yes, this does now mean Disney, and therefore Marvel will be able to use the X-Men and Fantastic Four. From a realistic, adulting standpoint it freaks me out to see a company like Disney have so much control, and the actual outcomes of all this will have a massive effect on your media consumption. But, the sugar-craving nerd in me is like, “X-MEN AND IRON MAN CAN PLAY TOGETHER!” That's the side that's winning out. 

Source: THR

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