Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Disney May Be in Talks to Buy 21st Century Fox

21st Century Fox Disney 21st Century Fox Disney
Heather Davidson | 07 November, 2017, 01:12

The CNBC report said the two sides were not talking now, but had held talks in the last few weeks, reflecting a view among Fox managers that the firm could not gain the size needed to compete with Amazon, Netflix and other major media players. Chatter had swirled late a year ago about the impact of a possible Disney acquisition of Netflix, even though neither company had indicated that such a combination was in the works.

CNBC could not learn the possible structure of the deal between Fox and Disney, nor could the price that is being discussed be determined.

However, with Universal holding the Orlando-area rights to Disney's most widely-known Marvel characters, a Fox deal would mean another of Universal Orlando's top themed area would be licensed from its biggest entertainment industry rival. Essentially, piggybacking off of Disney's reach and scale could give Fox advantages that it would not have if it continues solo.

Disney, which under US rules could not own two broadcast networks, would not purchase all of Fox, CNBC reported.

Fox is still producing films of varying quality based on the Fantastic Four and the X-Men characters... much to the consternation of Marvel fans, many of which would love to see all of the classic Marvel Comics characters finally be reunited under the Marvel Studios banner.

Fox has bid $14.5 billion to acquire the remaining 61 percent of Sky it does not own, but the acquisition has been delayed by British regulators. "It's a no-brainer", Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser said.

Fox has begun moving shows from Netflix to Hulu, including "How I Met Your Mother", which ranks only behind "Friends" in the firm's power ratings, while also creating the ad-free FX+ with Comcast, which could eventually become an exclusive home for FX series. With the company about to launch their own streaming service, that would be a huge boost.

Fox was formed by the 2013 breakup of Murdoch's News Corp into two separate firms as part of a plan to "unlock value" for shareholders. Fox said in August that it expects to see high single-digit domestic affiliate fee growth every quarter in fiscal 2018.

Also on the block would be much of Fox's worldwide distribution operations and its 39 per cent stake in Britain's Sky, in which Fox has been seeking full control pending regulatory approval.

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