Disney closes $71.3 billion deal for 21st Century Fox assets paving way for streaming service

“Walt Disney Co. closed its $71.3 billion acquisition of the major entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox, the companies said, combining some of Hollywood’s best-known studios, characters and franchises as media companies look to get bigger to better compete in a world where shows and movies are increasingly streamed,” Erich Schwartzel and Joe Flint report for The Wall Street Journal. “Disney will now control Fox’s movie and television production studios, as well as its FX cable network, Fox Searchlight label and National Geographic properties.”

“The combined Disney-Fox entity is part of a race for scale in Hollywood, where having a hit movie or TV show is no longer enough,” Schwartzel and Flint report. “Studios today need a deep stable of characters and franchises to sell streaming subscriptions, movie tickets, toys and theme-park admissions.”

“Disney’s rise has been driven by its acquisitions: For a combined $15.4 billion, the company has purchased Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Entertainment and Lucasfilm Ltd,” Schwartzel and Flint report. “Disney is positioning its bet on Fox — by far the biggest acquisition in the company’s history — as a central element of its long-term strategy… Disney has launched one streaming service, tied to its ESPN programming, and is planning a family-oriented one for later this year. To prepare for that launch, it already has started removing its movies and television shows from Netflix’s library.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ll find out another major piece of the streaming puzzle in five days!

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