Disney is reportedly in talks of acquiring a chunk of 21st Century Fox, according to a report out of CNBC. The company is specifically interested in the entertainment aspect of Fox where the rights to franchises like X-Men and Avatar live. While talks have been on and off for some time, the report doesn’t specify whether the two companies will reach an agreement, but it could very well happen down the line.
Fox reportedly wants to focus more on news and sports, less on entertainment.
According to CNBC, Disney wants to buy Fox’s media division which the latter is willing to sell. This is due to Fox wanting to create a stronger focus on news and sports which, it believes, can be more competitive in today’s market. Right now, Fox doesn’t have the means to compete on the media level like Disney can, so it would make sense to see a deal like this take place.
Disney, on the other hand, would likely expand its media reach and better prepare for its direct-to-customer subscription service which will launch in 2019. We already know Marvel and Star Wars movies and franchises will live in this service, and if this deal goes through, Wolverine & the X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Avatar, and more could also joint that list since the assets would belong to Disney themselves.
Disney doesn’t want everything, however.
It’s worth noting that Disney would only buy the media portion of Fox where an expansion for the former’s entertainment business could be obtained. Disney already owns ABC and ESPN, so they legally can’t own another news network and buying out Fox Sports would create “an anti-competitive from an antitrust standpoint,” as CNBC puts it. Disney also wouldn’t purchase Fox’s local broadcasting affiliates. However, they would buy out production assets such as Star TV and Sky alongside networks like FX and National Geographic.
If you need a visual representation, here’s what Nat Geo would look like owned by Disney.
Anyway, we have yet to hear anything surrounding this deal from Fox or Disney themselves. Therefore, we’ll have to put this report on ice until more information surfaces. But for now, feel free to imagine all the floodgates that would open if this deal came through.