Further to our recent news post, Walt Disney and Fox have agreed a $52.4 billion (£39 bn) deal. Included in this is that Disney gets the 20th Century Fox film studio and the 39% stake that Fox has in Sky, the satellite broadcaster. Fox Sports and Fox News, that were not included in the deal, will form a new company along with other Fox assets not included in the deal.
The End of Rupert Murdoch’s Reign
This is the end of Rupert Murdoch’s 50 years of media expansion. At 86 years old he getting a little past it to continue expanding his own media empire. However, that aside and forgotten, Bob Iger, Disney CEO, stated that the acquisition presented an opportunity to expand franchises such as Star Wars an Avatar. These will take some handling, so we hope that Disney is capable of seeing them through.
Other aspects of Fox that will come into Disney’s hands are:
- Fox movie studios.
- Fox TV studios.
- Fox regional sports networks.
- Majority control of video streaming service Hulu.
- Control over Star Wars movies, the Marvel superhero pictures, Avatar and Deadpool plus TV hits such as Modern Family and The Simpsons. The Star Wars franchise will belong to Disney.
- Star India and Fox’s interests in Sky plc and Tata Sky.
Disney to Assume Fox Debt
The deal extends the global reach of Disney, with Star India and Tata Sky to its Sky operation. As part of the deal, Disney will assume Fox debt to the value of $13.7 billion. This brings the total value of the deal between Walt Disney and Fox to be in excess of $66 billion. Fox is retaining its News. Sports and TV Stations groups among others, but many of its flagship channels have been passed on to Disney.
Walt Disney and Fox OK: Sky in Disney’s Hands
This does not signifies the end of Fox anything approaching it. Fox has narrowed its scope to news and live major sports events. According to Lachlan Murdoch, Fox is now focusing on its roots as a “lean, aggressive, challenger brand.” For Sky, it signifies more. Sky’s future now lies in Disney’s hands. Time will tell hat that means to Sky and to Disney! Meantime, the reign of Rupert Murdoch seems over.