Disney Officially Acquires Fox – What Does It Mean?

Disney officially closed the deal on acquiring 21st Century Fox for $71.3 billion.  This merger has been long in the making and I wrote in depth of what the Mouse House would be receiving and not receiving in the acquisition when it was believed to be finalized way back in December of 2017.   To get an idea of the type of entertainment powerhouse Disney is set to become, they posted the following banner atop their official website following the merger to provide a sample of their rich offerings.  Continue reading below for a glimpse into what the purchase could mean for the Walt Disney Company moving forward.

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, this deal includes the addition of Fox film and TV studio, the FX networks, National Geographic, Indian TV giant Star India, and Fox’s 30% stake in Hulu (meaning Disney now owns 60% of Hulu despite releasing their own streaming media service later this year).  In order to obey market regulations Disney still needs to sell 22 regional sports networks in the USA and its sports networks in Brazil and Mexico as well as its stakes in Lifetime and History networks in Europe.

Some of the major franchises they will be welcoming into the fold include X-Men/Deadpool, Alien, Predator, Planet of the Apes, Kingsman, Die Hard, Avatar, as well as shows like the Simpsons, Atlanta, This Is Us, Modern Family, Family Guy, and American Horror Story.  They also now own the distribution rights to Star Wars a New Hope.  Even though Disney purchased Lucasfilm, George Lucas partnered with Fox for the distribution of the first film and therefore Disney would not have been able to release a box set containing all the Star Wars films together until now.  For a breakdown of what the acquisition could mean for the various franchises moving forward (X-Men on screen with the Avengers, etc.) check out what I wrote here.

Here’s the full statement from Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger following the merger, courtesy of THR:

“I’m proud to announce the acquisition is complete and 21st Century Fox is now part of The Walt Disney Company. I’d like to welcome our new colleagues, and thank employees on both sides of the deal for your patience and perseverance as we worked through the lengthy acquisition and regulatory process.

As you know, Disney has never been short on ambition. We’ve never been satisfied with the status quo, and our vision for this transformative era is our boldest yet. We are rapidly transforming our company to take full advantage of evolving consumer trends and emerging technology in order to thrive in this new and exciting time.

Our acquisition of 21st Century Fox was driven by our strong belief that the addition of these great businesses, brands, franchises and talent will allow us to move faster, reach farther and aim higher – especially when it comes to building direct connections with consumers.

I wish I could tell you that the hardest part is behind us; that closing the deal was the finish line, rather than just the next milestone. What lies ahead is the challenging work of uniting our businesses to create a dynamic, global entertainment company with the content, the platforms, and the reach to deliver industry-defining experiences that will engage consumers around the world for generations to come.

We’ve spent the last year exploring the new opportunities and synergies generated by bringing our two legendary companies together. Leaders across both organizations have worked closely together to understand how to best unlock this potential and unleash innovation and creativity to generate long-term growth. We’re confident in our integration strategy and in our ability to execute it effectively; and we’re inspired and energized by the new possibilities.

Our integration process will be an evolution, with some businesses impacted more than others. We’ve made many critical decisions already, but some areas still require further evaluation. We may not have answers to all of your questions at this moment, but we understand how vital information is, and we’re committed to moving as quickly as possible to provide clarity regarding how your role may be impacted.

Having been on both sides of numerous acquisitions during my career, I have a deep appreciation for how this one impacts everyone involved, on both a personal and professional level. I understand the challenges, and I ask for your continued patience in the days to come as we combine this collection of great assets to create the world’s premier entertainment company.”

What do you think about Disney closing the deal to purchase Fox?  Do you think it will help make certain Fox properties better or do you think a favorite of your may go by the wayside due to trying to juggle too much content?  How will they incorporate Fox owned Marvel properties?  Do you think Fox’s R-rated, adult, or horror content be abandoned in lieu of Disney’s family-friendly image (they already stated Deadpool will continue on)?  How will this influx of content allow Disney+ to compete with Netflix in the competition for your streaming dollar?  Share your thoughts on the merger in the discussion board below?

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