Fox and Walt Disney have agreed to terms on a sale that will result in Disney owning the bulk of Fox’s film and television properties and their rights.
Walt Disney has agreed to pay $52.4bn to purchase Fox’s film and television studios, as well as 39% of Sky.
Fox will retain Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Sports, Fox Television Stations Group, and sports cable networks FS1, FS2, Fox Deportes and Big Ten Network.
Fox has stated they will reorganize these entities as a new firm focused on news and major live sports events in the US.
Insiders have speculated that by downsizing and refocusing these holdings it may be possible for Murdoch to bridge these properties with properties under the News Corp helm.
News Corp. owns the Times and the Sun newspapers and remains controlled by the Murdochs.
Fox shareholders also benefit from the sale. Owners will receive Disney stock representing roughly 25% of the enlarged company.
Disney, for its part, will gain Fox’s movie and television studios, regional sports network and international holdings, as well as other investments.
But more importantly to fans, and possibly to Disney’s long term growth and bottom line, Disney gains properties including the original Star Wars movies, The Avatar franschise (which Disney recently built into their Animal Kingdom theme park,) and rights to Marvel film properties currently outside its MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) including; Fantastic Four, X-Men, Deadpool, and a long list of Marvel’s most popular villains.
Disney also gains rights to television hits including The Simpsons, and cable networks including FX and National Geographic.
Disney, which has been working on creating it’s own streaming service and had already stated it would remove all streaming content from Netflix in the future, will also get majority control of the video streaming service Hulu.
Disney also gains a number of regional footprints, which will most likely be rebranded as regional ESPN outlets, by adding Fox’s regional sports network in the US.
Disney also ramps up its global efforts by adding Star India as well as Fox’s interests in Sky plc and Tata Sky to its portfolio.
Finally, Disney will assume $13.7bn in Fox debt as part of the stock deal, taking the total value of the transaction to more than $66bn.
Hulu is also partially owned by Comcast and Time Warner.