In a deal valued at more than $52 billion, Disney is buying a large portion of 21st Century Fox – including film and television studios, cable and international TV businesses.
According to CBS News, “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 new publicly traded media company that will be spun off to its shareholders.”
Fox plans to complete the acquisition of the 61% of European broadcaster Sky before the sale to Disney.
Disney beat out rival Comcast Corp. for the assets.
The merger could combine Fox Sports South and the other regional networks with Disney’s ESPN, which has been hemmorrhaging households as viewers, especially younger viewers, either cut the cord on their cable TV packages or opt not to purchase cable or satellite TV.
The deal is expected to include Fox’s regional sports networks, including Fox Sports South, which televises games of the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta United.
“The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from 21st Century Fox reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before,” Robert A. Iger, CEO of Disney, said in a statement on Tuesday.
According to Bloomberg.com the rise of alternative forms of online entertainment, from Netflix to Snapchat, have led millions of once-loyal pay-TV subscribers to cut the cord, forcing TV companies to band together to ensure their long-term survival.
The deal to bring so many media assets under one roof could draw Justice Department scrutiny, similar to the reaction with AT&T’s deal to acquire Time Warner.