Disney paves way for streaming Netflix competitor, entertainment behemoth with $52.4B purc...

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The Walt Disney Co., the major media conglomerate that has previously worked closely with Apple, has confirmed plans to acquire 21st Century Fox, with the $52.4 billion purchase of the entertainment rival likely to have major repercussions for the rest of the media industry.




Confirmed on Thursday, the all-stock deal will see Disney taking control of major entertainment assets from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, Reuters reports. Rumored in November, the purchase includes the studios behind major film and TV franchises, including the Marvel movies and "Avatar," expanding Disney's dominance in the market, as well as increasing its capability to produce such content.

The deal is only for Fox's entertainment assets, not for its broadcasting, news, and sports operations. Before the acquisition itself, the Fox Broadcasting Network, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2, and Big Ten Network will be spun off into a new company, which will be owned by existing Fox shareholders.

The acquisition will also provide Disney with more international broadcasting properties. This includes satellite assets such as India's Star TV network and a major stake in Sky, the European pay TV provider that has a considerable customer base in the United Kingdom.

Under the deal, Fox shareholders will receive 0.2745 Disney shares for each Fox share held, equating to a market value of $29.50 based on the market closing price of Disney. Disney will also assume approximately $13.7 billion of net debt owned by Fox.

Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger (left) and Rupert Murdoch
Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger (left) and Rupert Murdoch


While the deal has been announced, it is still possible for it to not occur, as it will need to undergo scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission and other officials before being allowed to proceed. The BBC also reports the UK's Competition and Markets Authority is already investigating the deal, and is expected to publish its provisional findings in January.

It also has to undergo shareholder approval, while both the Disney and Fox boards have approved the transaction.

It is highly likely that the acquisition will make a major impact on the streaming media marketplace. Disney already has plans to end its partnership with Netflix and launch its own competing streaming service in the future, with major blockbuster properties including Marvel and Star Wars franchises exclusive to the service.

The deal could cause Netflix and other services to lose even more content, if Disney decides to extend its content exclusivity to other Fox properties already offered by the competition. More immediately, the deal would pass Fox's stake in Hulu to Disney, giving Disney a majority ownership and control over the streaming service.

Apple is likely to benefit from the acquisition, due to the close working relationship it has with Disney. Bob Iger, Disney's Chief Executive, currently serves on the Apple Board of Directors, while Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, is a significant stakeholder in both companies.

Apple is also slowly building up its team for a push into creating content in-house, providing more original programming for Apple Music to draw more customers to the $10-per-month service.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    hodarhodar Posts: 237member

    Netflix has really fallen in overall quality, IMHO.  They used to boast 20,000 movies available for streaming; and  you could wade through movies you never imagined that existed.  This was back in the "Glory Days" of Netflix; however since then, they have "improved" the overall user interface that one would think that they only have a hundred or so shows.  And based upon your preferences and part viewing habits, it's the same shows you see presented time, and time again.  You do not have the ability to say "No, and I never want to see another show that features (insert your personal genre here) again.  In doing so, you have to search for Indie shows, or foreign shows that turn out to be very good.  "Let the Right One In", originally done in Norwegian with sub-titles, for example; was outstanding.

    I'm now watching Amazon Prime Video, and the fact that shows like Game Of Thrones are readily available (all 7 seasons), as well as West World and others are out there in the open, easy to find - makes Netflix look pathetic.  I'm not sure as to whether Netflix quality has plummeted in the past few years, or their GUI is hiding the wealth that Netflix was once famous for.

    minicoffee
  • Reply 2 of 16
    Just based on what I have seen from Disney owned franchises and my own iTunes movies library, I thoroughly oppose this acquisition by Disney. Right now the only movies in my library that have not received 4K upgrades are Disney owned franchises. This shows exactly why this should be vigorously opposed. 
  • Reply 3 of 16
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,808member
    More effing consolidation...
    tallest skil
  • Reply 4 of 16
    hodar said:

    Netflix has really fallen in overall quality, IMHO.  They used to boast 20,000 movies available for streaming; and  you could wade through movies you never imagined that existed.  This was back in the "Glory Days" of Netflix; however since then, they have "improved" the overall user interface that one would think that they only have a hundred or so shows.  And based upon your preferences and part viewing habits, it's the same shows you see presented time, and time again.  You do not have the ability to say "No, and I never want to see another show that features (insert your personal genre here) again.  In doing so, you have to search for Indie shows, or foreign shows that turn out to be very good.  "Let the Right One In", originally done in Norwegian with sub-titles, for example; was outstanding.

    I'm now watching Amazon Prime Video, and the fact that shows like Game Of Thrones are readily available (all 7 seasons), as well as West World and others are out there in the open, easy to find - makes Netflix look pathetic.  I'm not sure as to whether Netflix quality has plummeted in the past few years, or their GUI is hiding the wealth that Netflix was once famous for.

    I think you should be clear about what you mean by "quality."  There are lots of elements to a great streaming service:  technical excellence (availability, reliability, etc.), video formats (HD, 4K, etc.), the catalog (what content is available), the user interface (how the system works), price and subscription options, etc.  In recent years Netflix has changed on all those dimensions, and mostly for the better.

    Question regarding GoT on Amazon: is that included free for all Prime users or is it a premium add-on available to Prime users?  I've never seen the show, in part because I never wanted to pony up for HBO.  I found out recently that my wife signed up for Prime a few months ago, so learning the ins and out of what Prime gets ya.
  • Reply 5 of 16
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,240member
    Looks like Murdoch figured his sons aren’t up to it and has sold the studio to someone who cares. 
    Pity about the consolidation though.

    Another possible way of looking at it is Murdoch got an offer too high to refuse. Australians have an expression: “you only get one Alan Bond in your lifetime”
    it means you take the high price, there might be an opportunity to get it back and more later for less.
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 6 of 16
    hodar said:

    Netflix has really fallen in overall quality, IMHO.  They used to boast 20,000 movies available for streaming; and  you could wade through movies you never imagined that existed.  This was back in the "Glory Days" of Netflix; however since then, they have "improved" the overall user interface that one would think that they only have a hundred or so shows.  And based upon your preferences and part viewing habits, it's the same shows you see presented time, and time again.  You do not have the ability to say "No, and I never want to see another show that features (insert your personal genre here) again.  In doing so, you have to search for Indie shows, or foreign shows that turn out to be very good.  "Let the Right One In", originally done in Norwegian with sub-titles, for example; was outstanding.

    I'm now watching Amazon Prime Video, and the fact that shows like Game Of Thrones are readily available (all 7 seasons), as well as West World and others are out there in the open, easy to find - makes Netflix look pathetic.  I'm not sure as to whether Netflix quality has plummeted in the past few years, or their GUI is hiding the wealth that Netflix was once famous for.


    I agree. Both in quality and quantity.  the new Apple TV inspired interface can be very trying (same issue with You tube app) for deep discovery. Although quick previews are nice. The Netflix rating system is like 'why bother'. I suppose they are trying to get you to 'take a chance' some of these things that they spent 'billions' on. However, ever since they changed over to this revise format...I perhaps go in once month see if there is anything new (eg - the crown)
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 7 of 16
    hodar said:

    Netflix has really fallen in overall quality, IMHO.  They used to boast 20,000 movies available for streaming; and  you could wade through movies you never imagined that existed.  This was back in the "Glory Days" of Netflix; however since then, they have "improved" the overall user interface that one would think that they only have a hundred or so shows.  And based upon your preferences and part viewing habits, it's the same shows you see presented time, and time again.  You do not have the ability to say "No, and I never want to see another show that features (insert your personal genre here) again.  In doing so, you have to search for Indie shows, or foreign shows that turn out to be very good.  "Let the Right One In", originally done in Norwegian with sub-titles, for example; was outstanding.

    I'm now watching Amazon Prime Video, and the fact that shows like Game Of Thrones are readily available (all 7 seasons), as well as West World and others are out there in the open, easy to find - makes Netflix look pathetic.  I'm not sure as to whether Netflix quality has plummeted in the past few years, or their GUI is hiding the wealth that Netflix was once famous for.

    I think you should be clear about what you mean by "quality."  There are lots of elements to a great streaming service:  technical excellence (availability, reliability, etc.), video formats (HD, 4K, etc.), the catalog (what content is available), the user interface (how the system works), price and subscription options, etc.  In recent years Netflix has changed on all those dimensions, and mostly for the better.

    Question regarding GoT on Amazon: is that included free for all Prime users or is it a premium add-on available to Prime users?  I've never seen the show, in part because I never wanted to pony up for HBO.  I found out recently that my wife signed up for Prime a few months ago, so learning the ins and out of what Prime gets ya.
    Game of Thrones isn't free with Prime. You still have to pay $14.99/mo for all the HBO shows. There are some pretty good Amazon shows free with Prime. One of my favorites is The Man in the High Castle. 
    minicoffee
  • Reply 8 of 16
    hodar said:

    Netflix has really fallen in overall quality, IMHO.  They used to boast 20,000 movies available for streaming; and  you could wade through movies you never imagined that existed.  This was back in the "Glory Days" of Netflix; however since then, they have "improved" the overall user interface that one would think that they only have a hundred or so shows.  And based upon your preferences and part viewing habits, it's the same shows you see presented time, and time again.  You do not have the ability to say "No, and I never want to see another show that features (insert your personal genre here) again.  In doing so, you have to search for Indie shows, or foreign shows that turn out to be very good.  "Let the Right One In", originally done in Norwegian with sub-titles, for example; was outstanding.

    I'm now watching Amazon Prime Video, and the fact that shows like Game Of Thrones are readily available (all 7 seasons), as well as West World and others are out there in the open, easy to find - makes Netflix look pathetic.  I'm not sure as to whether Netflix quality has plummeted in the past few years, or their GUI is hiding the wealth that Netflix was once famous for.

    The HBO shows are not native to Prime, you have to subscribe to HBO, Prime just becomes a gateway. 
  • Reply 9 of 16
    Just based on what I have seen from Disney owned franchises and my own iTunes movies library, I thoroughly oppose this acquisition by Disney. Right now the only movies in my library that have not received 4K upgrades are Disney owned franchises. This shows exactly why this should be vigorously opposed. 
    Disney is going to have their own over the top service for cable and streaming. THEY will be the only way to access Disney/ Marvel/ Pixar/ Lucasfilm/ etc. content. It’s a smart move on their part.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    Just based on what I have seen from Disney owned franchises and my own iTunes movies library, I thoroughly oppose this acquisition by Disney. Right now the only movies in my library that have not received 4K upgrades are Disney owned franchises. This shows exactly why this should be vigorously opposed. 
    Disney is going to have their own over the top service for cable and streaming. THEY will be the only way to access Disney/ Marvel/ Pixar/ Lucasfilm/ etc. content. It’s a smart move on their part.
    Yes it is. In light of this acquisition, someone in my Twitter made a thought-provoking observation

    1. 

    2.  

  • Reply 11 of 16
    Just based on what I have seen from Disney owned franchises and my own iTunes movies library, I thoroughly oppose this acquisition by Disney. Right now the only movies in my library that have not received 4K upgrades are Disney owned franchises. This shows exactly why this should be vigorously opposed. 
    Disney is going to have their own over the top service for cable and streaming. THEY will be the only way to access Disney/ Marvel/ Pixar/ Lucasfilm/ etc. content. It’s a smart move on their part.
    Yes it is. In light of this acquisition, someone in my Twitter made a thought-provoking observation

    1. 

    2.  

    I argued for some time that Apple should've gone full court press and hired Bob Iger to run a new, independent Apple entertainment division and made him CEO when Tim Cook retires or quits to go into politics.
  • Reply 12 of 16
    Just based on what I have seen from Disney owned franchises and my own iTunes movies library, I thoroughly oppose this acquisition by Disney. Right now the only movies in my library that have not received 4K upgrades are Disney owned franchises. This shows exactly why this should be vigorously opposed. 
    It will hurt everyone. People will be reluctant to sign up to Netflix (and Apple own service for that matter) when they know it lacks a major studio works. And right now I’m not willing to buy any Disney movies in iTunes because I know I will not get the 4K upgrade. 
    Will I sign up for a new Disney soon to be launch service? Unlikely. More chance I will cancel Netflix because it’s not all in one place anymore. 
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 13 of 16
    Just based on what I have seen from Disney owned franchises and my own iTunes movies library, I thoroughly oppose this acquisition by Disney. Right now the only movies in my library that have not received 4K upgrades are Disney owned franchises. This shows exactly why this should be vigorously opposed. 
    Disney is going to have their own over the top service for cable and streaming. THEY will be the only way to access Disney/ Marvel/ Pixar/ Lucasfilm/ etc. content. It’s a smart move on their part.
    Yes it is. In light of this acquisition, someone in my Twitter made a thought-provoking observation

    1. 

    2.  

    I argued for some time that Apple should've gone full court press and hired Bob Iger to run a new, independent Apple entertainment division and made him CEO when Tim Cook retires or quits to go into politics.
    Not a bad idea either but too late for that.  Guess there's always buying Time Warner if the deal with At&T doesn't get approved.
    edited December 2017 SpamSandwich
  • Reply 14 of 16
    entropys said:
    Looks like Murdoch figured his sons aren’t up to it and has sold the studio to someone who cares. 
    Pity about the consolidation though.
    I think that's exactly it, his daughter apparently is capable but she's turned her back on it already so given his age, he's likely seen no other option to retain the wealth within his family rather than let the shareholders take control.

    Seen this posted elsewhere this morning; the Simpsons predicted it 19years ago!

  • Reply 15 of 16
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,434member
    Just based on what I have seen from Disney owned franchises and my own iTunes movies library, I thoroughly oppose this acquisition by Disney. Right now the only movies in my library that have not received 4K upgrades are Disney owned franchises. This shows exactly why this should be vigorously opposed. 
    Disney is going to have their own over the top service for cable and streaming. THEY will be the only way to access Disney/ Marvel/ Pixar/ Lucasfilm/ etc. content. It’s a smart move on their part.
    Yes it is. In light of this acquisition, someone in my Twitter made a thought-provoking observation

    1. 

    2.  

    Yeah - Apple, the most profitable company in the world, will get crushed by Disney and Netflix. Sure. 

    Pure service companies need the broadest reach possible, and always want the high end, so would make complete sense for these two to withdraw their Apple platform support to fight an Apple content service.  Just like we see Google has done...

    As for Apple’s own content service, since we don’t have much information on it, it is hard to say how Apple should respond. Apple’s approach seems to be about “having a seat at the table” for the moment. It is good to have a service that is useful in negotiations. 
  • Reply 16 of 16
    brucemc said:
    Just based on what I have seen from Disney owned franchises and my own iTunes movies library, I thoroughly oppose this acquisition by Disney. Right now the only movies in my library that have not received 4K upgrades are Disney owned franchises. This shows exactly why this should be vigorously opposed. 
    Disney is going to have their own over the top service for cable and streaming. THEY will be the only way to access Disney/ Marvel/ Pixar/ Lucasfilm/ etc. content. It’s a smart move on their part.
    Yes it is. In light of this acquisition, someone in my Twitter made a thought-provoking observation

    1. 

    2.  

    Yeah - Apple, the most profitable company in the world, will get crushed by Disney and Netflix. Sure. 

    Pure service companies need the broadest reach possible, and always want the high end, so would make complete sense for these two to withdraw their Apple platform support to fight an Apple content service.  Just like we see Google has done...

    As for Apple’s own content service, since we don’t have much information on it, it is hard to say how Apple should respond. Apple’s approach seems to be about “having a seat at the table” for the moment. It is good to have a service that is useful in negotiations. 
    "Yeah - Apple, the most profitable company in the world, will get crushed by Disney and Netflix. Sure."

    He's not talking about Apple in its entirety but with respect to video content services.
    gatorguy
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