Disney-Fox merger could cause thousands of layoffs

Mae Love
March 23, 2019

21 Century Fox yesterday completed the spin-off of the principally linear broadcast assets that will comprise the new Fox Corporation, including Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Sports, Fox Television Stations Group, and sports cable networks FS1, FS2, Fox Deportes and Big Ten Network. Twenty-First Century Fox Inc has a 12 month low of $38.00 and a 12 month high of $41.95.

The deal, which took close to 18 months to close, will see Disney acquire Fox's vast portfolio of TV, film, production and digital assets including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures, FX Productions, National Geographic Partners, Star India and Fox's interests in Hulu and Endemol Shine Group.

Disney also gets a controlling stake in the existing streaming service Hulu, which it plans to keep operating as a home for more general programming.

Chairman-CEO, Disney, Bob Iger said in a statement, "This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us - one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders". If you don't know, then this is it. Disney is planning to launch its own media streaming service called Disney+ which makes sense considering the effect streaming movies have had on cinema revenue where studios like Disney make most of their money from.

For its part, Fox has named a raft of new directors as it begins life as a standalone company.

"We are thrilled to welcome our new colleagues to the Fox board".

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The Walt Disney Company's acquisition of 21st Century Fox, which took effect on Wednesday, will greatly expand Disney's global presence and shake up the entertainment industry worldwide.

In April previous year, Disney launched ESPN+, a US$5-a-month sports streaming service that has already passed two million subscribers.

Imitating some of the most beloved scenes in the show where Homer strangles his son Bart for a comical misdemeanor, Homer has his hands wrapped around Mickey Mouse's neck, with the caption: "Welcome to the family, man".

Disney's new assets also include the powerhouse Fox TV studio, responsible for hits such as "Homeland" on Showtime, "This Is Us" on NBC and "Empire" on the Fox network.

Iger has said in the past that Disney's entry into streaming is the company's biggest priority, and the merger with Fox enbles the company to accelerate this aspect of its business.

In August a year ago DAN retained the $18.2 million media buying and planning account for the Walt Disney Company in Australia and New Zealand. Disney warded off its rival suitor, but had to pay about 36 per cent more for Fox under new terms announced last June.

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