Disney has today completed its $71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox, which will add franchises such as X-Men, Avatar, and The Simpsons to its collection. Disney says that the content will be used to boost Hulu and the upcoming Disney+ service.
X-Men, Avatar, Deadpool, The Simpsons
In late 2017, Disney announced that it would acquire 21st Century Fox. After many months of regulatory procedures, Disney now officially owns Fox along with film studio 20th Century Fox, National Geographic, a 60% majority in Hulu, and much more.
- “This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us—one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company. “Combining Disney’s and 21st Century Fox’s wealth of creative content and proven talent creates the preeminent global entertainment company, well positioned to lead in an incredibly dynamic and transformative era.”
The acquisition gives Disney control over franchises such as X-Men, Avatar, Deadpool, The Simpsons, Alien, Planet of the Apes, The X-Files, and much more. The company has updated its website graphics (as seen above) to reflect its new profile.
With the acquisition, Disney is trying to adapt to a new world order where streaming services rule. Big-6 in Hollywood has become Big-5 but new players such as Amazon and Netflix are becoming too big to ignore. At the end of 2018, Netflix had over 139 million subscribers worldwide and the company spent well over $10 billion on content in 2018 alone. Apple and WarnerMedia will also enter the streaming race later this year.
Disney says that by owning Fox it will be able to provide more high-quality content through its existing and upcoming streaming services.
- “With 21st Century Fox’s iconic collection of businesses and franchises, Disney will be able to provide more appealing high-quality content and entertainment options to meet growing consumer demand; increase its international footprint; and expand its direct-to-consumer offerings, which include ESPN+ for sports fans, the highly-anticipated Disney+ streaming video-on-demand service launching in late 2019; and Disney and 21st Century Fox’s combined ownership stake in Hulu,” the company said.
The acquisition has huge implications for everyone involved and the industry at large. There are also technical aspects to consider. For example; 20th Century Fox was one of the founding members of the HDR10+ alliance together with Samsung and Panasonic but Disney is on team Dolby Vision. If Disney decides to abandon HDR10+, it could be a death blow to Samsung’s HDR format.
The company is planning to preview its Disney+ streaming service on April 11, 2019.