Disney seals takeover of Murdoch's 21st Century Fox's film and TV assets

Disney seals takeover of Murdoch's 21st Century Fox's film and TV assets

Walt Disney Co has struck a deal to buy film, television and global businesses from Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox Inc for $52.4 billion in stock as the world's largest entertainment company seeks even greater scale to combat growing digital rivals Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc.

Disney is not only the proud owner of 21st Century Fox, it's also now the controlling owner of Hulu.

The sports networks include the YES Network in New York, Prime Ticket and Fox Sports West in Los Angeles, and networks that carry 44 professional teams in Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the NHL.

20th Century Fox has three X-Men movies incoming in The New Mutants, Deadpool 2 and X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and is also slated to begin production on Gambit early in the new year. According to those privy to the talks, the entire business of Star India, including entertainment and sports channels and the digital over-the-top channel Hotstar, will be transferred to Disney as part of the deal.

That doesn't mean his company is going to turn Hulu into Disney's standalone streaming service, however.

The Boards of Directors of Disney and 21st Century Fox have approved the transaction, which is subject to shareholder approval by 21st Century Fox and Disney shareholders, clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, a number of other non-United States merger and other regulatory reviews, and other customary closing conditions.

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The deal allows Disney to expand its content, especially for streaming services. He said: "The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from 21st Century Fox reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before".

"And, we'll see", Iger added. "Furthermore, I'm convinced that this combination, under Bob Iger's leadership, will be one of the greatest companies in the world".

The Disney-Fox deal will also bring Fox assets like James Cameron's "Avatar" film series, "The Simpsons", and FX Networks under the Disney umbrella of content. "But I look forward to talking to him about it", Iger said.

It was announced at the same time that due to the sale, Disney's longtime CEO Bob Iger would be staying on through 2021 in his current position, marking the third time he has extended his contract.

"And during that period of time, he and I will continue to discuss whether there is a role for him here or not".

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