How Disney’s ambitions to buy 21st Century Fox could further shake up the ever-changing media landscape

Nov 7, 2017

Michelle Obama And Disney CEO Robert Iger Hold News Conference On Disney's Nutritional Guidelines

The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Robert Iger delivers remarks during an event introducing Disney’s new ‘Magic of Healthy Living’ program at the Newseum June 5, 2012 in Washington, DC.; Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


Continuing its quest to compete with the Netflixes and Amazons of the world, Walt Disney Company has reportedly been in discussions to buy a significant portion of 21st Century Fox.

While the sides are not currently in talks according to CNBC, who first reported the story, and there’s no indication that the talks will lead to a deal, the implications for the overall media landscape are potentially huge. Preliminary details suggest the deal would send 20th Century Fox movie and TV production operations, the National Geographic and FX channel groups, and Fox’s array of international outlets to Disney, which is trying to become more of an independent player in the streaming market. Recently, the company announced it would be pulling its content off of Netflix’s platform in order to start their own over-the-top streaming services, one for sports and one for franchises like Star Wars and Marvel. Acquiring the Fox entities would no doubt mean a huge boost to the amount of content Disney would be able to provide on its streaming services.

Is this potential purchase a sound strategy for Disney as it wades into the over-the-top streaming market? What does this mean for other companies like Netflix and Amazon? Would you be more likely to pay for Disney’s streaming service if you could access 21st Century Fox content as well?


Cynthia Littleton, managing editor for TV at Variety; she tweets @Variety_Cynthia

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