The ‘Mouse’ (Walt Disney) and the ‘Fox’ (20th Century) could actually form a relationship that defies real-life jungle fable but in the corporate jungle? Well, politics and business have always made for strange bedfellows. And Mickey Mouse seems to be open to a menage a trios with Minnie and a 21st Century Fox. Yes, Disney is in advanced talks for a blockbuster deal with Fox where the media company run by the Murdochs could sell a significant bulk of their company to Disney.
Obviously, the deal with the mouse will split up the Foxes with James Murdoch potentially splitting up with his father and his brother to work at Disney as part of the handover. He is expected to take on the role of a senior executive and oversee the Fox portfolios. This deal is being seen as media analysts as the last ditch effort by traditional media to shake up the dance floor to bleed new age rivals Netflix and Amazon by making them dance to a new song. The song of the death knell (they hope).
Fox has been in prolonged simultaneous negotiations with Comcast but the jungle beat with Disney seems to have taken off a bit faster. The much anticipated deal could be announced as soon as mid December (2017); though insiders insist that it’s all a matter of announcement.
This deal could cause an upheaval in the media, as the big guns like Disney and Comcast try and scale even bigger to fight off the Netflix’.
Getting its hands on assets like the Fox movie and television studios would give Disney greater libraries of content at a time when it is rolling out its own streaming video service to challenge Netflix, Amazon and their ilk. And Star and Sky would help give Disney an international presence.
What would be left behind with daddy Rupert and brother Lachlan would be many highly profitable operations, including Fox News Channel, a broadcast network, and the FS1 sports channel. The Murdochs still control News Corporation, a separate publicly traded company that owns The Wall Street Journal, the British newspaper The Times and other news publications.
Whatever the deal – whats set tongues wagging across studios and Hollywood is the fact that finally the big guns have taken aim and decided to fire at Netflix and Amazon and similar companies; instead of losing audiences to them without a fight. Whether they claim any scalps, remains to be seen.