Disney deal to buy Fox entertainment assets could reshape media industry

Global Business

Disney deal to buy Fox entertainment assets could reshape media industry FILE – In this Aug. 8, 2017, file photo, The Walt Disney Co. logo appears on a screen above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox in a $52.4 billion deal, announced Thursday, Dec. 14, including film and television studios, cable and international TV businesses as it tries to meet competition from technology companies in the entertainment business. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Disney is buying a big chunk of Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox, making this one of the biggest media deals ever. CGTN’s May Lee has more.

The $52.4 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets, will include Fox movie and TV studios, as well as television channels like FX and National Geographic, and big stakes in Sky in the UK and Europe, Star in Asia and streaming service Hulu. Fox is hanging on to its news and business news divisions, broadcast network and Fox Sports.

For Disney, this seismic move has everything to do with bulking up its content to launch a stand-alone streaming service by 2019. Disney’s library already consists of the most coveted properties – Pixar animation, Marvel and, of course, the Star Wars franchise. But Fox content will help attract a more mature audience.

“On a stand alone basis as a streaming app, you’re going to have every parent sign up for it already,” said Ross Gerber, President & CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment. “So now they’re looking at their slate of content and thinking, ‘our content is very skewed to the nice, and the happy, maybe we need a little more like “American Idol” content or other types of content that’s a little edgier, like on FX which had the OJ Simpson special,’ and things like that. So I think it’s a very good synergy between the two.”

Disney’s content and online expansion could also benefit the global audience as well, especially in countries like China where demand for entertainment is growing exponentially. Disney is well-positioned to meet those demands, unlike Netflix which has very limited content distribution in China.

There is, however, a big hurdle that Disney and Fox need to overcome and that’s regulatory approval. Because this is a horizontal merger, in which both companies are in the same business, it might face more government scrutiny because there’s a greater chance at creating a monopoly. Last year, Disney and Fox controlled about 40 percent of the movie tickets sold in the U.S. So anything can happen between now and final approval, which could take up to a year.

Jacob Shapiro discusses Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox entertainment assets

CGTN’S Rachelle Akuffo spoke with Jacob Shapiro, co-owner and manager of Fantom Comics in Washington, DC, about the Disney-Fox entertainment deal.