The media landscape was shaken up Thursday with the announcement that Disney will acquire 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets in a deal valued at $52.4 billion in an all-stock transaction.
The House of Mouse gets crazy like a Fox!
Here’s what it’s going to mean to you as a consumer…
Disney will have majority ownership of Hulu
The battle with Netflix and Amazon in the burgeoning OTT (over-the-top) streaming market is just getting started.
In a post-cable world, this deal will give Disney majority ownership in Hulu, with a 60% share of the major Netflix competitor. Disney had already announced plans to pull back content from Netflix prior to the revelation of this merger.
Look for Disney to beef Hulu up with highly coveted content from itself and Fox.
In addition, it’s been widely reported that Disney plans to launch its own streaming service in 2019. That will give consumers yet another option in what’s becoming a crowded streaming marketplace.
Disney will now own some of your favorite movie franchises
The Mouse bought Marvel back in 2009, but certain franchises like X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool remained the property of Fox. This deal finally brings those titles into Disney’s stable.
Likewise, Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012 and they’ve faithfully been pumping out new Star Wars movies during the holidays since 2015.
But one back catalog gem eluded Disney even after the Lucasfilm acquisition — until now.
As part of the Fox deal, Disney will now get distribution rights to the eponymous 1977 film that started it all!
Also coming into the Disney portfolio as part of the Fox deal will be Avatar — the all-time highest-grossing worldwide picture release.
ESPN will enjoy a major content boost
ESPN has long been a thorn in Disney’s side. As more and more people cut the cord, the cable sports channel has often been blamed for the sideways performance of Disney stock over the past two years.
But now the tables have turned. Disney CEO Bob Iger made the media rounds after the Fox deal was announced and said ESPN’s national coverage will be strengthened for local viewers with the addition of 22 regional sports networks.
Fox will retain ownership of some core properties
If you’re a fan of Fox News, fear not. The conservative cable channel will remain firmly in the 21st Century Fox fold and continue in the same vein.
Fox will also retain its legacy broadcast properties like Fox Business, Fox Sports 1 and Big Ten Network, among others.
The deal is bigger than you think
$54.2 billion is the headline number that’s been widely reported in the media. However, a closer look at the proposed transaction reveals an enterprise value of $66.1 billion when all is said and done.
That’s because Disney has agreed to take on some $13.7 billion in Fox’s net debt.
Meanwhile, it still remains to be seen whether or not federal regulators will OK the proposed acquisition. Most industry watchers do expect the deal to go through.
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