Disney Strikes Deal to Purchase Twenty-First Century Fox

Aalia Babar, Writer

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If you haven’t heard, Disney, one of the largest entertainment companies in the world has made a deal to buy Fox Entertainment for 54.2 billion dollars!

What does this mean?

This is a very complicated arrangement. Disney already has an impressive market share. Most people associate Disney with its entertainment franchises, which (as of now) include Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar among others.

Disney also owns ABC Entertainment and News; 30% of Hulu; 10% of Vice; 50% of A&E; 80% of ESPN; and much more.

Now with this deal, Disney would be adding Fox Entertainment studios, excluding Fox News and Fox Sports. Disney will own 6 of the top-10 highest-grossing films of all time, including “Avatar,” which is the highest-grossing film of all time. Disney will also be receiving rights to the X-Men, Fantastic 4 and Deadpool. Disney owns licenses to an ever expanding list of Marvel characters (with the exception of She-Hulk, who is owned by Universal). They will also own Blue Sky Animations, a studio famous for movies like “Rio” and “Ice Age.”

Why?

This agreement, in large part, has to do with streaming mega-power, Netflix.

Netflix had about 56% of the streaming service market share before other services like Hulu and Amazon Prime jumped into the game. This caused Netflix’s market share (as a streaming service) to drop down to, roughly, 36%.

Disney is planning to launch its own streaming service in 2019. This service would include everything from Disney Movies and Animation; every Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar movie; and newly purchased Fox properties like “The Simpsons,” “Empire,” and “Family Guy.” Disney’s goal is to dominate the streaming market with this content-rich service. A big-budget, live-action “Star Wars” series exclusively for this streaming service is also in the works.  

Outcome?

While, admittedly, it sounds cool and exciting to have all of Disney in one place, it’s not all magical.

Disney would now own 60% of Hulu, and a whole lot of other entertainment products. At the moment, people can comfortably own multiple streaming services. Disney, however, could easily get us to open our wallets even more. If it is expensive, will people quit other services for this one service? If so, what will happen to services like Netflix or Hulu?

This is an expansive and complicated deal. It will still be a while before we see the “X-Men” and “Avengers” on the same screen.

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