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Disney closes $71 billion deal to acquire Fox's entertainment assets

Among other things, it paves the way for Disney to launch its streaming service, Disney Plus, due out later this year

AP | PTI  |  Los Angeles 

Why Comcast and Disney's offers to buy Fox aren't as apart as they may seem

has closed its $71 billion acquisition of Fox's entertainment business, putting "Cinderella," ''The Simpsons," ''Star Wars" and "Dr Strange" under one corporate roof.

The deal is likely to shake up the

Among other things, it paves the way for to launch its streaming service, Plus, due out later this year.

It will also likely lead to layoffs in the thousands, thanks to duplication in Fox and Disney film-production staff.

By buying the studios behind "The Simpsons" and X-Men, Disney aims to better compete with such as and for viewers' attention - and dollars.

Disney needs compelling TV shows and movies to persuade viewers to sign up and pay for yet another streaming service.

It already has classic Disney cartoons, "Star Wars," Pixar, the Muppets and some of the Marvel characters.

With Fox, Disney could add Marvel's and Deadpool, along with programs shown on such as and

Fox's productions also include "The Americans," ''This Is Us" and ""

The deal helps Disney further control TV shows and movies from start to finish - from creating the programs to distributing them though television channels, movie theaters, and other ways people watch entertainment.

Disney would get valuable data on customers and their entertainment-viewing habits, which it can then use to sell advertising.

Disney said in an earnings call in February that Disney Plus and other direct-to-consumer businesses are Disney's "No. 1 priority."

Cable and telecom have been buying the that make TV shows and movies to compete in a changing

Although like and directly control their customers' access to the internet in a way that Amazon, YouTube and do not, they still face threats as those gain in popularity.

bought Time Warner last year for $81 billion and has already launched its own streaming service, Watch TV, with Time Warner channels such as TBS and TNT, among other networks, for $15 a month.

In addition to boosting the Disney streaming service, expected to debut next year, the deal paves the way for Marvel's and to reunite in future movies.

Though Disney owns Marvel Studios, some characters including the had already been licensed to Fox.

Disney also gets a controlling stake in the existing streaming service Hulu, which it plans to keep operating as a home for more general programming.

Family-friendly shows and movies will head to Disney Plus.

No pricing has been disclosed for Disney Plus. The streaming service will feature five categories of material: Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Disney charges $5 a month for Plus, a service that offers programming distinct from the cable channel.

Meanwhile, the parts of that are not part of the deal, including Fox News, Fox Sports and started trading on the Nasdaq under the "FOX" and "FOXA" tickers on Tuesday.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 20 2019. 11:10 IST