A few weeks back, we started hearing mutterings that the Walt Disney Co. and Fox were in talks for Disney to purchase the movie and TV side of 21st Century Fox. At that time, the deal seemed so far away from happening, due to the talks going quiet. However, it appears that it was all part of the plan as Disney announced today that they have decided to acquire 21st Century Fox for a cool $52.4 billion!
The deal will include ownership of all film and TV assets, but will not include any of the premiere sports, news, or the FOX channels, as that would become a monopoly. Instead, those channels under 21st Century Fox (Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News, Fox Business, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network) will spin-off to avoid the deal from falling through. Furthermore, Disney agreed to give each 21st Century Fox shareholder a .2745 share of Disney for each share they hold. Oh and $52.4 billion.
That’s what Fox gets out of the deal, but what about Disney?
Disney’s billion dollar receipt includes the acquisition of the entire Fox film brand, including all of the rights it owns. That means, that for the first time in decades, the Marvel universe will be mostly whole. For when the deal goes through, Fantastic Four, the X-Men and all their mutants, and even Deadpool will be part of the Marvel family. The acquisition could do wonders for film franchises that have been mired in mediocrity for years, aside from Deadpool.
While this is exciting for fans, it really is a drop in the bucket when you realize everything else that’s a part of the deal.
For film, Disney will own 20th Century Fox and all of its branches, including Fox Searchlight and Fox 2000. Part of those is James Cameron‘s Avatar film franchise which will join its Magic Kingdom theme park, Pandora, as part of the Disney family. Perhaps, Disney will get Cameron and his team to stick to a deadline. Plus, Disney will own the rights to all of its other film franchises that have either already released or are yet to come.
For TV, 20th Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21 will become part of Disney’s growing TV empire. This means shows like Modern Family (already airing on ABC), The Simpsons, This is Us, and tons more hit programming will now have Bob Iger‘s signature on their paychecks. Additionally, the TV channels of FX, National Geographic, Fox Sports Regional, Fox Networks Group International, Star India, Sky plc, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group will become part of the fold. The Fox Sports Regional may throw some people for a loop with the whole monopoly thing, but that channel is pretty minor, in the grand scheme.
One of the biggest items that Disney gets out of the deal is Fox’s stake in Hulu. With that going to Disney, the Walt Disney Co. will have enough to own the streaming network. Recently, Disney announced that they’d be making their own streaming channel, but by owning one of the largest and already established sites around, they may just focus solely on Hulu for all their Disney needs.
The rest of the deal includes ownership of Fox’s international channels, which gives Disney an even larger international reach in Europe and Asia.
Finally, Disney Chairman & CEO Bob Iger got a nifty contract extension out of the deal, as well. He’ll be in his current position through 2021.
“We are extremely proud of all that we have built at 21st Century Fox, and I firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace in what is an exciting and dynamic industry,” said Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox. “Furthermore, I’m convinced that this combination, under Bob Iger’s leadership, will be one of the greatest companies in the world. I’m grateful and encouraged that Bob has agreed to stay on, and is committed to succeeding with a combined team that is second to none.”
Naturally, this deal is huge and will take a while to go through everything, but these are the biggest highlights to come out of the deal. We’re hearing that the deal will close in about 18 months so that’s a year and a half of news to come out about this monumental deal. Additionally, Iger has come out and said that any properties that are supposed to be R will maintain an R rating, so all fans who are concerned about Deadpool shouldn’t be.