The Walt Disney Company just announced its acquisition of 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion and this includes Indian media house Star India as part of the deal. Fox’s interests in Hulu, Sky plc, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group will also be acquired by Disney.
Star India, which operates 69 channels reaching 720 million viewers a month across India and more than 100 other countries. The company did not mention what plans for Star India’s Hotstar streaming service.
But it did mention that it would be building its own streaming service. Disney will be launching two streaming services: one for its own films, which will release in 2019; and an ESPN-branded service that the company says will stream thousands of sporting events each year, including Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, Grand Slam tennis, and college sports. The company did not announce pricing for these services. To run these two streaming services, Disney has paid $1.58 billion to acquire majority stake in BAMTech, a streaming tech firm that powers services like HBO Now and multiple sporting leagues’ streaming apps.
21st Century Fox will separate the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network into a newly listed company that will be spun off to its shareholders.
Now Disney will also film production businesses, including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000. This means that Disney will acquire the rights for 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.
The fact that Disney has the rights for the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, we can possibly expect X-Men characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) along with The Avengers. “The agreement also provides Disney with the opportunity to reunite the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool with the Marvel family under one roof and create richer, more complex worlds of inter-related characters and stories that audiences have shown they love,” the company said in a press statement.
Meanwhile, in television, it will acquire, Fox Television, FX Productions, and Fox21 and get the rights for TV shows such as The Americans, This Is Us, Modern Family, The Simpsons. The acquisition will also give the company access to National Geographic, Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox Networks Group International.
More details to follow