Disney to Buy Most of 21st Century Fox in 52.4 Billion Deal

Disney on Thursday announced that it is buying a huge chunk of 21st Century Fox in a deal that promises to reshape the media industry and help the entertainment giant fend off digital rivals such as Netflix. The $52.4 billion deal will combine two of Hollywood’s biggest juggernauts.

As part of the transaction, Disney is also acquiring cable channels FX, National Geographic, and get Fox’s stakes in Hulu and European pay-TV provider Sky.

Prior to the deal closing, 21st Century Fox will separate the Fox broadcasting network, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, and some national sports networks into a new company that will be spun off to its shareholders. The remaining properties would ideally in the coming years merge with News Corp., from which they split in 2013, Fox’s Rupert Murdoch said on Fox Business Thursday morning.

Disney, which counts ESPN among its crown jewels, has suffered as consumers switch off their TVs and spend more hours watching streaming services such as Netflix that are distributed directly to consumers.

The deal allows Disney to expand its content, especially for streaming services. In addition to a majority stake in Hulu that it will have once the deal closes, Disney is preparing to launch two separate streaming services, one for sports and another focusing on entertainment. And it is pulling its content from Netflix in preparation for the launch. Adding Fox’s television and movie studios and the content they own means adding to the stable of must-watch content it can offer directly to consumers, bypassing their streaming competitors’ platforms.

The deal will need to undergo regulatory review and will likely take at least a year to close.

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Source: www.cnn.com 12/15/17

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