The entertainment industry is about to experience a tectonic shift. Thursday morning, Disney announced that it is buying $52.4 billion worth of assets from 21st Century Fox. Essentially, two of the biggest producers of movies, television, and entertainment are becoming one.
As if Disney didn’t already have enough assets, they will now have ownership over 21st Century Fox’s movie studio, cable channels like FX, European TV-provider Sky, several regional sports networks, and perhaps most importantly, a majority stake in streaming service Hulu.
Adding Hulu, not to mention all of the content owned by 21st Century Fox, will help Disney compete with companies like Netflix and Amazon when it comes to streaming services.
Disney is in the process of taking its content off Netflix as it plans to launch two streaming services. One will revolve around movies, TV, and entertainment while the other will be focused on sports. With the movies and TV shows currently owned by Fox now part of their portfolio, Disney will be more able to compete with a company like Netflix from a content standpoint.
“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,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger Thursday morning.
Iger had previously announced his intentions to leave Disney in 2019. However, with Disney making such a major acquisition, Iger has decided to stay on until 2021.
“We’re excited about this extraordinary opportunity to significantly increase our portfolio of well-loved franchises and branded content to greatly enhance our growing direct-to-consumer offerings,” said Iger. “The deal will also substantially expand our international reach, allowing us to offer world-class storytelling and innovative distribution platforms to more consumers in key markets around the world.”
Of course, such a massive deal could take more than a year to close. The Justice Department will take a good long look at what kind of impact Disney’s acquisition of Fox could have on cable companies, distributors, and consumers.
However, when all is said and done, Disney will have an even more massive collection of content in their vault, leaving little doubt that they will continue to be the greatest entertainment company the world has ever known. We will truly be living in a Disney World.