After weeks of speculation, Disney is officially set to buy a majority of 21st Century Fox’s properties in a $52.4 billion deal. The purchase includes 21st Century Fox’s movie studio, 20th Century Fox, and the company’s regional sports channels. Disney is also taking ownership of television cable channels FX and National Geographic and is getting Fox’s stakes in Hulu and Sky.
21st Century Fox is keeping the Fox broadcasting network, Fox News, Fox Business Network, and several national sports networks in the deal and is expected to spin them off into a new company. The 20th Century Fox movie studio lot in Culver City will remain with its original parent company and be used for the spinoff company.
“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 chairman-CEO Bob Iger. Iger has extended his contract with Disney through 2021.
“We’re honored and grateful that Rupert Murdoch has entrusted us with the future of businesses he spent a lifetime building, and 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,” he continued. “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.”
The purchase is the latest high profile buy from Disney after the likes of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. The company is planning to launch a streaming platform to rival Netflix, and the Fox purchase gives them even more franchises and film titles to profit from, including the lucrative “X-Men” and “Deadpool” series.