Last year, Disney made a monumental move when they acquired FOX for a mere $52 billion. The mouse would be taking all of FOX’s film and TV assets, leaving the studio only with its sports and news. In fact, FOX has already been making the necessary moves to fill some of the void that will be left when the acquisition goes through by making a deal with the NFL to be the host network for Thursday Night Football.
However, it looks like the deal that was supposed to bring in Marvel and the original X-Men trilogy into the Disney fold may not be happening. This according to new reports that say Comcast is still interested in acquiring FOX. More on the story below.
According to a report from Variety (via The Wall Street Journal), Comcast, who also owns Universal Pictures, is strongly considering acquiring FOX. Disney made their purchase for $52 billion last year, but the sale has yet to be finalized by the government. And here’s the kicker, Comcast made a higher bid than Disney. In fact, it was priced at $60 billion. However, that deal was rejected by the studio, who cited antitrust issues.
However, Comcast has not put a new offer on the table. Per CNBC, Comcast may actually try to drop their bid if AT&T is allowed to buy Time Warner. Last year, the $85 billion deal between AT&T and Time Warner was blocked by the U.S. Justice Department. If that deal falls through, then both parties will have to rethink who they merge with. On the flip side, Disney’s acquisition of FOX may not be approved either.
CNBC’s report adds that Rupert Murdoch is selling FOX because he fears technology companies would outspend him on sports rights and other valuable content — see the NFL deal they made in the link above. This sale comes at the height of more streaming services like Hulu, regional sport networks, and even Twitter offering its clients more sports options.
Regardless of who ends up acquiring FOX, many of the negative effects still come into play. Just like if Disney were to acquire FOX, if Comcast were to make the acquisition, it means there will be a limited number of studios to pitch to. Which in turn makes it harder to get bolder films like Fox Searchlight’s The Shape Of Water.
However, Disney has expressed interest in keeping the FOX assets the way they are. Disney CEO Bob Iger said he would like to see FOX’s Deadpool as an R-rated film. Again, that was when the deal happened, but not finalized. So if this deal does not happen, it means that we wouldn’t get to see the X-Men play in the Marvel Studios sandbox. Unless Comcast was willing to play ball and make a deal with Sony to share those Marvel assets.
We’ll be sure to keep you posted on everything that is going on about the possible sale, if it does or does not happen.
[Source: Variety via WSJ | CNBC]