by Zachary Siddiq
21st Century Fox has held multiple talks to sell a large portion of its entertainment business to the Walt Disney Company, close sources say this week.
Talk between the two companies has lasted for the past couple weeks, with no deal proposed. Though the discussion has currently ceased between the corporations, it has the potential to start up again. The purchase would include Fox’s Film and Television departments, including some network channels such as FX and National Geographic. Absent from the purchase would be the Fox channel, Fox News, Fox Sports and the local Fox news stations, which would be spun-off as separate groups from Disney (some of which due to anti-trust regulations).
The purchase would result in Disney having significantly more assets under its direction, while Fox would be able to focus on news and sports instead of entertainment. Disney would be able to launch their announced streaming service (scheduled for 2019) with Fox’s properties, making it competitive in a streaming market ruled by Netflix and Hulu.
There are elements of the deal, however, that could potentially alarm consumers. Dom Caristi, Professor of Telecommunications at Ball State, warns that such a deal could end up costing consumers more money. “For consumers, the deal could mean higher cable TV prices. Disney will be able to negotiate a much bigger package of channels when it negotiates with Comcast or DirecTV, so their leverage to demand more increases. That means higher prices for consumers.”
21st Century Fox is one of the largest media producers in America, known for their televisions series such as The Simpsons, Family Guy, This Is Us, Modern Family and Futurama. Their work encompasses movie production, publishing independent films under the Fox Searchlight banner, and producing feature-length animation with Blue Sky Studio (Ice Age, The Peanuts Movie).