The mouse has finally captured the fox. Walt Disney Co. announced on Thursday to buy film, television, and international business from 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion. Back in November, there were rumors that this merger was going to be taking place.
This deal will end Rupert Murdoch’s reign over the 21st Century empire. 21st Century Fox was founded four years ago in June of 2014. 21st Century was the legal successor of News Corp. It was the third-largest media conglomerate next to Disney and Comcast and now is joining Disney.
Disney will secure most assets, but Disney will not be taking over Fox News and Fox Sports.
This merge gives Disney more power than they already hold. To name a few, Lucasfilm, ABC Television Group, and Marvel are just a small handful of what Disney owns.
The merge with 21st Century will give Disney a big stake in Hulu, the competitor with Netflix and Amazon. In August, Disney announced they would take all of their Disney content off Netflix to set up their own streaming services. One will focus on ESPN and sports, while the other will be entertainment programs such as “The Simpsons” and the X-Men franchise.
In an interview with CNBC, Iger said with Disney now being involved with Hulu; they would “be able to infuse Hulu with even more content. So we will actually invest in content from both entities for Hulu.”
“Disney understands how challenging it is to be a dominant player in a transformed medium of television and content,” said Jacqueline Corbelli, CEO of BrightLine TV. “It’s all about the scale and reach of the best content, and with this acquisition, they have doubled down on that. In addition, having a majority stake in Hulu gives Disney a point of distribution in this exploding streaming space .”
Netflix has had an advantage with big-budgeted original content, but now, Netflix could be taken down with Disney on Hulu’s side.
Murdoch’s children, James and Lachlan, were co-chairman of 21st Century Fox, and now the question is, what will their place be? Rupert Murdoch was going to be handing his empire over to his two sons. On Thursday, Disney’s boss, Bob Iger, will be keeping the reigns of Disney till about 2021. We might be waiting to see what happens to Murdoch’s legacies.
The finalization of the Disney and 21st Century Fox deal solidifies that Disney cannot be messed with. Rumors of this merger came around months ago, and many believed that it couldn’t be done. However, 2018 already seems to be a great year for Walt Disney Co., and it is exciting to see what will be done with this new deal.