We’re about to see two entertainment behemoths come together, as The Walt Disney Company and 21st Century Fox have officially announced a deal. As a result, Disney will acquire Fox’s film division and much of its TV operations for a price of over $52 billion in stock.
Disney will take over the Nat Geo network, Star TV, Fox’s movie and TV studios and its stakes in both Sky and Hulu, as well as the parts of the business that focus on regional sports broadcasting. It’ll gain a majority stake in Hulu through the deal, too. Fox News, Fox’s basic broadcast network and its national sports channels will be spun off into a new company.
One of the reasons Disney already dominates the entertainment landscape is because of big acquisitions under CEO Bob Iger — Pixar, Marvel and most recently Lucasfilm. The move will bulk up Disney’s content library in advance of the planned launch of the studio’s streaming service in 2019. It could also end up posing a significant business threat to Netflix, since Disney has show it wants to put more of its own original content on its own streaming service which is set for launch in 2019, vs. on its soon-to-be rival.
Among other properties, Fox owns the Avatar franchise and the original Star Wars film.
And while Disney already does pretty well on the superhero side thanks to its ownership of Marvel, the deal brings the film rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four back in-house — so maybe that Avengers/X-Men cinematic crossover you’ve been dreaming about will finally happen. In fact, Disney pointed out as much in it is official announcement, which includes the following note: