Published Dec 14, 2017Disney has confirmed plans to buy a massive portion of 21st Century Fox, uniting the two entertainment titans in an attempt to stave off competition. Entertainment mogul Rupert Murdoch sold his portion of Fox's media empire to Disney for a whopping $52.4 billion USD.
In addition to acquiring 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight Pictures, Disney now owns FX and the National Geographic Channel, as well as 20th Century Fox Television, Fox 21 and 22 regional Fox Sports channels.
The deal also gives Disney a minority stake in streaming service Hulu, as well as ownership of European pay-per-view service Sky and India's Star TV.
Fox News, Fox Business Network and a variety of other Fox-branded channels were not included in the deal, but will be merged into a separate publicly listed company that primarily focuses on news and sports rather than entertainment.
"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," Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement. "We're honoured and grateful that Rupert Murdoch has entrusted us with the future of businesses he spent a lifetime building."
The deal is expected to give Disney greater control over the creation and distribution of content. As analyst Paolo Pescatore told CBC, "That would lead to greater sources of revenue, and an ability to compete with tech companies like Netflix and Amazon head on."
Of course, Disney also has plans to take on streaming giants with streaming services of their own in 2019. The company will launch two services; one focusing on sports and the other focusing on entertainment. In preparation for the new services, Disney has been pulling its content from Netflix.