Disney has acquired 21st Century Fox’s film and television studios in a massive deal worth over $52 billion.
The agreement includes the movie studio 20th Century Fox, the company’s production arm for television, Fox-owned cable networks, which includes FX and National Geography, and finally, the stakes Fox holds in international properties like Star TV and Sky — which Fox plans to purchase full ownership of before the sale actually goes through.
Disney also now controls the majority of streaming platform Hulu as part of the deal, with Disney taking over Fox’s 30 percent stake, amounting to the house of Mickey Mouse owning 60 percent of the U.S.-exclusive streaming platform. In the process, Comcast and Time Warner have been reduced to minority stake holders in Hulu, with both companies holding 30 percent and 10 percent stakes respectively.
Reports indicate that Fox shed its entertainment divisions to focus on the company’s more profitable news and sports offerings. The company will retain control of the Fox broadcast network, including Fox Sports, Fox News and Fox Business.
Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger’s tenure as CEO of the Walt Disney company has also been extended through 2021, according to Disney’s press release about the acquisition. Disney’s purchase of Fox’s property also means that the company is taking ownership of comic book franchises like the X-Men and Fantastic Four.
This means that Disney now owns Marvel Studios as well as a wide variety of other valuable super hero properties, including Wolverine and Deadpool, leading to speculation regarding the seemingly endless possibilities for crossover films.
It will also be interesting to see how Disney’s majority ownership in Hulu plays out. Given the media giant also has plans to launch its own streaming service, this gives Disney access to a massive back catalog of content it could feature on its own, still unreleased platform.
It is important to note, however, that Hulu is not officially available in Canada and likely won’t be at any point in the foreseeable future. That said, Disney’s own streaming service is coming set to launch in Canada, along with other international markets. It’s likely Disney’s acquisition of Fox’s properties will impact what content is available via the media giant’s upcoming streaming platform, particularly in Canada.
Disney’s acquisition of Fox’s film and television divisions was rumoured dating all the way back to November.