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Disney Buys Fox

What Does Disney's Purchase of Fox Mean for Mobile Device Owners, Apple?

Connected Theater
December 14, 2017

Disney buys Fox, now what?

On Thursday, the Walt Disney Company announced it would acquire certain 21st Century Fox assets. What will this deal mean to Apple and mobile device users? Plenty as you can see below.

What is Disney Buying?

What is Disney Buying?

As part of the announced deal, Disney will acquire Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television Studios and Fox-related cable and international TV businesses.  This would include the FX Networks, National Geographic, and a majority stake in Hulu.

Disney will not be purchasing Fox Broadcasting Network and its stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Fox Sports 1 and 2, and the Big Ten. These properties will be listed in a separate company for shareholders.

For Mobile Users, It's All About Video Streaming

For Mobile Users, It's All About Video Streaming

Earlier this year, Disney announced plans to introduce two new video streaming services. The first launches in 2018 and will build out of the current ESPN streaming app. The package will offer sports content not airing on ESPN channels. The second service, launching in 2019, will become the exclusive home for new animated and live-action theatrical Disney and Pixar films. The Disney service could eventually compete with Netflix.

What about Fox?

Disney isn’t buying Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 but is taking over 22 regional sports channels across the United States. This includes the YES network, which is the home of the New York Yankees. In other words, the Disney-Fox deal would give Disney more access to regional and local content which will probably filter down to the new streaming service.

With regards to Disney’s upcoming streaming service, Disney could pull 21st Century content off of other services like Netflix. It’s doing the same thing to Disney-branded material by the end of 2018.

As Disney explains, that’s a lot of content:

Combining with Disney are 21st Century Fox’s critically acclaimed film production businesses, including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures 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, which 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, National Geographic Partners, Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox Networks Group International, Star India and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Sky plc, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group.

What about Hulu?

Hulu is currently a joint venture between Comcast, 21st Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company, and Time Warner. If U.S. regulators approve Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, Disney will own the majority stake in Hulu.

As Recode right explains, this could eventually mean the end of Hulu as we know it.

With Disney owning a majority stake and Time Warner a silent partner, Hulu’s other partner, Comcast, is less likely to bring its content to the streaming service in the future. Therefore, don’t be surprised to see Disney roll Hulu into its upcoming video streaming service.

What About Apple?

What About Apple?

Apple has always had strong ties to Disney and that probably won’t change with Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Still, the purchase probably means Apple will never purchase Disney, which has often been discussed over the years.

One thing that could eventually happen: Apple might have no choice but to purchase Netflix to better compete with Disney in streaming. That’s speculation for another day, however.

Are you happy to see Disney buy key parts of 21st Century Fox? Let us know below.