If all goes as expected, Bart Simpson may soon work for Mickey Mouse. The Walt Disney Company has announced that a deal has been reached for them to purchase most of 21st Century Fox. It’s a stock transaction that’s valued at roughly $52.4 billion. As part of the deal, Disney would own National Geographic, Fox Searchlight Pictures, 20th Century Fox Television, Fox 21 Television Studios, the FX Networks (FX, FXX and FXM — as well as the studio FX Productions), and Fox Television Animation.
But, Disney isn’t purchasing all of 21st Century Fox. A “New FOX” will be created and will encompass Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Fox Broadcasting Company (the FOX network), and Fox Sports.
Fox Television Animation makes TV shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Bob’s Burgers. So, will they be staying on the FOX network even though they’ll no longer be in the same corporate family? According to Deadline, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers, and The Orville will stay on the network — at least for now — because of preexisting deals for the series.
The Disney deal could make things very interesting for the future of other shows as the company also owns ABC. The ABC network airs Modern Family (produced by 20th Century Fox Television), and Speechless (a co-production between Fox and ABC). 20th Century Fox Television also produces NBC’s This Is Us, and FOX’s Empire, The X-Files, and The Gifted. It’s conceivable that the series that currently air on FOX could relocate to Disney-owned channels once their current contracts are up.
According to Polygon, Disney would also own the production and distribution rights to 20th Century Fox Television’s large back catalog of shows, which includes 24, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hill Street Blues, M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Shield.
The deal would also give Disney a 60% ownership of Hulu.
Read more details from FOX below:
NEW YORK — Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (“21st Century Fox” or the “Company” – NASDAQ: FOXA, FOX) today announced that it intends to spin off to 21st Century Fox shareholders a portfolio of its highly-rated news, sports and broadcast businesses to create a new “Fox,” which will be a growth company centered on live news and sports brands, anchored by the strength of the Fox Network.
The new “Fox” will include iconic branded properties 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 (BTN). It will also include the Company’s studio lot in Los Angeles and equity investment in Roku.
The new Fox will house the #1 cable news channel in the country, the most watched business news channel, and a stations group that is present in 9 out of the 10 largest metro areas in the U.S. Its broadcast and cable sports brands will have coveted, long-term sports rights to the NFL, MLB, World Cup soccer and NASCAR. The new Fox will have a strong financial profile, supported by peer-leading growth and differentiated free cash flow generation, and will be positioned to continue to deliver consistent growth driven by affiliate rate increases, retransmission growth and strong advertising demand for its live content and entertainment product.
21st Century Fox Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch said: “The new Fox will draw upon the powerful live news and sports businesses of Fox, as well as the strength of our Broadcast Network. It is born out of an important lesson I’ve learned in my long career in media: namely, content and news relevant to viewers will always be valuable. We are excited by the possibilities of the new Fox, which is already a leader many times over.”
In addition to the spin-off, 21st Century Fox today separately announced that the Company has entered into a definitive agreement to combine the rest of its businesses with Disney (NYSE: DIS), including the Company’s film and television studios, cable entertainment networks and international TV businesses.
Combining with Disney are 21st Century Fox’s critically acclaimed film production businesses including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight and Fox 2000, which together offer diverse and compelling storytelling businesses and are the homes of Avatar, X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool, as well as The Grand Budapest Hotel, Hidden Figures, Gone Girl, The Shape of Water, and The Martian – and its storied television creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21, who have brought The Americans, This Is Us, Modern Family, The Simpsons, and so many more hit TV series to viewers across the globe. Disney will also acquire FX Networks, Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox Networks Group International, Star India, and 21st Century Fox’s interests in National Geographic Partners, Hulu, Sky, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group. 21st Century Fox remains committed to completing its proposed acquisition of the shares in Sky it does not own, and anticipates that the acquisition of Sky will close by June 30, 2018.
Mr. Murdoch continued: “As a result of the transformative transactions proposed today, we are paving the way for the new Fox, as well as a better Disney, to chart a course across a broad frontier of opportunity. We have always made a commitment to deliver more choices for customers; provide great storytelling, objective news, challenging opinion and compelling sports. Through today’s announcements we are proud to recommit to that promise and enable our shareholders to benefit for years to come through ownership of two of the world’s most iconic, relevant, and dynamic media companies. They will each continue to be leaders in creating the very best experiences for consumers.”
What do you think? Do you watch FOX? What do you think this new deal will mean for some of your favorite FOX shows?