Disney has Acquired Fox’s film and TV Studios- Is This Big?
Yes its official: Disney has acquired 21st Fox TV and Film studios for $52.4 billion.
Disney has officially confirmed the acquisition (a year, however, will be required for closing the deal), will take over everything from 20th Century Fox movie studio to company’s TV production arm 20th Century Fox Television, company’s cable network (including National Geographic and FX) to international networks like Sky and Star TV.
So, one of the six core studios that make up Hollywood is effectively being gobbled by another. The biggest deal of its kind – in decades. Some are calling it the second-biggest merger since AOL-Time Warner.
Some part of the casual interest in the sale lies in the fact of Disney owning rights of Marvel comic characters – Fantastic Four and X-Men that was sold by Marvel to Fox a long time back (even when Disney was not the subsidiary). But, Disney does now own rights to other cultural properties as well, including the Alien franchise, The Simpsons, and Alvin and Chipmunks.
And now, when Disney has proven its worth by turning the cultural properties into hit producing machines, there are certainly reasons that are anticipating for others to wonder about its moves. Let’s discuss how:
1. Fox TV network May Slowly Wither Away
Disney was unable to buy one thing from Fox, its broadcast network of the same name. The network started off in 1986 and by mid-90’s, it became the Americas mainstream home of three networks; ABC, NBC, and CBS. FCC has stated that no single company can own more than one broadcast, and Disney already owns ABC.
This could mean: make it a home for the programming’s already owned by sister studios or make it a home for very cheap programming.
Fox will certainly not fall for option one, but it won’t even air up anything that doesn’t collect revenue either. However, there are still ways for Fox to continue with the way it is.
2. Hulu Will Become a Complete Disney Property
Hulu has always had this ownership situation and this is truly why it took on Amazon and Netflix for streaming, in which it is owned by Disney, Fox, Warner Bros, and NBCUniversal. After selling 30 % share of Hulu to Disney, it will become a strong part of Disney only. Where Disney has always been looking for a streaming platform and this becomes true now!
3. With Rupert Murdoch, There’s $52 Billion in Hand to Play With
What happens to Rupert Murdoch is the real wild card here. He along with his family will have 5 % of Disney and will keep the seat of company’s board of directors. But, Murdoch has always been seen with the world of sports and news.
4. Disney Has Made Blockbusters Only, While 20th Century and Fox Searchlight At least Tried making Adult Films
Although this is a pretty casual concern as compared to other reasons, it’s true that Disney does not make movies on yearly basis and even aimed at the blockbuster audience. Disney has always been in the blockbuster business, making many Star Wars, Marvels, and animated films. While Fox has many for the year, which even in includes Oscar-friendly films.
So will Disney allow Fox to continue making movies aimed at a wide variety of audiences, some hitting, and some flopping? Or will it push Fox into the same box as its other subsidiary studios, like Marvel and Pixar, responsible for a certain number of films per year, all of which are expected to set certain box office benchmarks? If that’s the case, then film fans will have lost something.
5. Media Consolidation is Always There
Media consolidation is always bad, already is, and will get worse. The only reason is that it’s been years and years since a Hollywood studio disappeared from the scene all at once. Especially the one that seemed pretty healthy from all evidence has been consumed by a bigger corporation. The big fish are eating each other, and soon there may only be one left.
But if Fox is now part of Disney, then it’s hard to imagine that we’re not heading toward a universe where essentially all of the major media providers in the world are owned by three or maybe four companies. And while the most obvious issues with that stem from how media consumers are able to get news that takes on corporate interests, there is a host of others that range from the political to the artistic.
Let’s see what having one less studio (the major one) does to the American Entertainment Industry.