Disney to acquire 21st Century Fox assets, including Hulu stake

It’s official: Disney has finalized an agreement to buy most of 21st Century Fox. The all-stock deal will clock in at $52.4 billion. A slew of new properties are included in the acquisition, including 21st Century Fox’s film titles and studio, and media brands such as National Geographic and FX Networks. The deal grants Disney a slew of new movie and TV properties just as it’s gearing up to launch its own streaming service in 2019. (Simply put, Netflix is about to have a formidable competitor on its hands.) Disney will also gain a 50% stake in Endemol Shine Group, a 39% stake in the European satellite broadcaster Sky, and control of the Star India satellite service.

One of the most fascinating (and messy) aspects of the Disney/Fox acquisition: Disney will gain Fox’s 30% stake in Hulu. And since Disney already has its own 30% stake, it will gain majority ownership of the service. But things aren’t all that simple: Hulu was initially conceived as a pure joint venture between Fox, Disney, and Comcast/NBCU (with Time Warner later gaining a 10% stake). And under the terms of the initial JV agreement, it will be difficult for Disney to make any major structural changes to the company without NBCU’s approval. For the moment, it’s not 100 percent clear what changes Disney might want to make to the service. (Disney CEO Bob Iger has only said that he intends to use Hulu as a platform for more “adult-oriented product” from the soon-to-be-acquired Fox assets.) Some analysts have speculated that Disney may try to buy out all outstanding shares in Hulu. But others, like BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield, have speculated that Disney may grow exasperated with the complexity of operating the service, and sell off its stake to Comcast. It’s all hypothetical for the time being, and it’ll likely be at least a year before the deal closes.

Related Stories

Jane Latman takes helm at Travel Channel

Jane Latman takes helm at Travel Channel

In the latest Discovery shuffle post-Scripps acquisition, Jane Latman is new GM at Travel Channel, reporting to Henry Schleiff. Latman also will continue to serve as EVP, development and research, for Investigation Discovery and American Heroes Channel, and GM of Destination America.

Galecki’s SciJinks to debut in May

Galecki's SciJinks to debut in May

Using science as the foundation for stunts and practical jokes, SciJinks, the new science prank show hosted by Johnny Galecki, will premiere Wednesday, May 16 at 10p on Science Channel. Galecki, along with science “prankologists” Tamara Robertson and Jason Latimer, test out science on unsuspecting marks, drawing from chemistry, physics, technology, engineering and more.

Amazon Prime serves up US Open deal

Amazon Prime serves up US Open  deal (Facebook)

Amazon Prime Video continues to bolster its sports rights portfolio, locking in a deal with the USTA to snag the exclusive live telecast rights to the US Open Tennis Championships for the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. The five-year agreement, which begins with the 2018 US Open, will bring live and on-demand content to […]

Networks get their NFL plays

Networks get their NFL plays (Facebook)

Armed with its new Thursday Night Football package, FOX kicks off its coverage of the regular season with Week 1 as a national weekend on Sept. 9 pitting the Cowboys/Panthers and the Seahawks/Broncos at 4:25p while Thanksgiving will see the Redskins/Cowboys on the channel. This year’s Thursday Night Football package on FOX begins in Week […]

11 series land renewals on CBS

11 series land another season on CBS

CBS renewed 11 more series for the 2018-19 season, for a total of 17, including the entire Tuesday and Friday night lineups. Coming back are Blue Bloods, Bull, Hawaii Five-0, Madam Secretary, MacGyver, NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, Survivor, The Amazing Race, 48 Hours and 60 Minutes.

CynCity

Cynsiders

Instagram