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In what has been one of the worst kept secrets for a few weeks now, we finally have confirmation. Disney has bought 21st Century Fox. According to Variety, Disney “has set a $52.4 billion, all-stock deal to acquire 20th Century Fox and other entertainment and sports assets from Rupert Murdoch’s empire”.
For some time, Comcast were competing with Disney but they dropped out of talks. This left Disney in prime position to complete this deal. Additionally, Disney CEO Bob Iger has extended his contract to 2021 in order to supervise the transition with this deal. Variety also stated the following:
“21st Century Fox will spinoff Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox Sports, Fox News, Fox Television Stations and a handful of other assets into a new company that will have revenue of $10 billion and earnings of about $2.8 billion. The 20th Century Fox lot in Century City will also remain with the spinoff Fox company”.
Clearly, Disney already own companies such as ESPN, ABC and ABC News so it would not be allowed for them to purchase 21st Century Fox’s equivalent companies.
My Thoughts On The Deal
To me, the reason why this deal happened is because of Fox offering up their assets rather than Disney approaching them out of the blue. Clearly, it seems as though Fox believed they could not compete in the film and television space anymore. Moreover, Fox was in debt. Hence, streamlining the company in order to focus on sports and news (ha) could benefit Fox financially.
Clearly, the deal benefits Disney immensely. They need content to make sure that their new streaming service can compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Acquiring Fox’s film and television properties, as well as having a majority stake in Hulu, certainly helps in this regard. It also helps Disney with future instalments of these properties.
Obviously, uncertainty about the negative repercussions of this deal is apparent. People losing their jobs is a likely consequence of this deal. Moreover, cinema chains across the world may be affected and this could impact the consumer. There will always be a downside to deals such as these but I hope the consequences will not be too severe.
Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars
Because Disney are acquiring the rights to the X-Men and the Fantastic Four with this deal, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has more material to use in future films. Certainly, Phase 4 of the MCU could be dominated by these properties and herald a new era for the MCU. Still, it is conceivable that only the Fantastic Four is integrated into the MCU and the X-Men stays separate or vice versa. The safe bet though is that both will be part of the MCU.
With this deal, Disney now owns the rights to all the Star Wars films. Conceivably, a release of the theatrical versions of the films in the Original Trilogy is more possible than it was before. Make no mistake, Disney are in the business of making money. An official release of the original version of the Original Trilogy would make a lot of money for Disney.
Still, we still do not know Disney’s approach when it comes to the R-rated properties they have acquired. For now, I will give them the benefit of the doubt and believe that something like Deadpool will be untouched. Overall, the deal between Disney and Fox is a historic event for the film and entertainment industry. Its impact will be felt for years to come and more news about the deal will likely occur in the coming weeks and months.
Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here on Soapbox as well as my reviews which you can also find at my blog theturnertalks.com.