Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox’s movie and TV divisions is reportedly almost a done deal, with an official announcement possibly coming next week. Last month, news broke that the House of Mouse is looking to purchase key components of the multinational mass media Fox corporation. Those Disney and Fox talks didn’t result in a deal, but left the door open for future negotiations between the two companies. A potential Disney/Fox deal is now back on the table – and from where it stands, it appears as though the sale could go through this time around.
It’s still unclear what Disney plans to do with the Fox divisions that would go under them once the buy-out is inked. Word has it that the reason the Mouse House is pursuing the deal is because it will allow them to stock-up on IPs, which they can then offer through the Disney streaming service that is scheduled to go live in 2019. This means that on top of Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar offerings, subscribers to the upcoming service will also gain access to Fox’s expansive portfolio of media entertainment.
CNBC is now reporting that the two companies are nearing to finalize their agreement. The enterprise value that Disney is looking to acquire is said to be more than $60 billion. Things are progressing faster than expected, with CNBC reporting that a deal between Disney and Fox could be finalized as soon as next week (and certainly before 2017 draws to a close). Both Comcast and Sony Pictures have also made bids to purchase Fox, but it appears as though their pitches were not enticing enough to derail the Disney/Fox discussions in the process.
This may be generally good news for Marvel fans who have been dying to see the X-Men and Avengers exist in the same film universe, but that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to dissecting the possibilities that would come out of this deal. Star Wars fans can also benefit greatly from it, with Disney claiming the distribution rights to the unaltered original trilogy, meaning a Blu-ray release of the first three installments is very much within reach. The package also reportedly includes Fox’s A&E and Star TV networks, its regional sports operation, as well as stakes in both Sky and Hulu; not to mention other IPs like The Simpsons and Avatar.
Of course, as with everything, there is a risk that this deal could do more harm than good, especially with fears of Disney possibly having a monopoly of the industry. From having six major film studios, this deal decreases it to five, and despite Disney’s long-standing history of coming out with quality movies, many are worried that the House of Mouse tending to not go too dark with their properties to stay on-brand can hurt films and shows that greatly benefit from R-ratings (like Deadpool and Logan). The Merc With a Mouth’s own creator Rob Liefeld is among the people who have been vocally opposed to a Disney/Fox deal and its potential consequences, for related reasons.