Walt Disney Co has struck a deal to buy film, television and international businesses from Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox, seeking even greater scale as it battles digital rivals Netflix and Amazon.com. The blockbuster deal will allow Disney’s dominant Marvel Studios to reunite Marvel Comics properties that were licensed to Fox. This deal will likely allow long-time Marvel favorites X-Men, Wolverine, Deadpool and Fantasic Four to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe and share the screen with characters from the Avengers.
Following is an outline of the resources and assets the world’s biggest entertainment company, with a current market value of about $166 billion, will hold if the deal is completed.
- Under the deal, Disney is acquiring Fox’s FX and National Geographic cable channels, its movie studio, India’s main network Star and a stake in European pay-TV provider Sky Plc .
- Taken together, Fox and Disney generated a total of $16.3 billion in advertising revenue in the 2017 financial year.
- The two companies’ studio businesses generated $16.6 billion in total revenue in fiscal 2017.
- Disney’s ESPN sports channels have about 88 million U.S. subscribers and 146 million internationally.
- Data from film industry website Box Office Mojo gives Fox and Disney together about 30 percent of an estimated $10 billion in box office taken by U.S. cinemas so far this year, which would make the combined company the single largest player, ahead of Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros with 20 percent.
- British bank Barclays said Hulu, Sky, and India’s Tata Sky together give Disney 46 million streaming or cable subscriptions in the United States, Western Europe and India, compared to Netflix’s global figure of 109 million customers.
- Barclays analysts also calculated that the combined movie and TV libraries of Fox Studio and Disney’s Buena Vista studios, which includes Pixar Animations and “Star Wars” producer LucasFilm, has more titles than Netflix.
- Disney plans to pull its first-run movies from Netflix starting in 2019. If it did the same with Fox programming, Netflix would lose “The Simpsons,” the “Star Wars” franchise and all Marvel superhero films.
- The deal would give Disney access to franchises and characters including “X-Men,” “Wolverine,” “Deadpool” and “Fantastic Four” and reunite them with the rest of the Marvel comic universe under one roof.
- Disney’s library of kids’ content dwarfs Netflix’s, with over 700 titles compared to around 400, according to Barclays.
Disney will be able to distribute its programming on Star India, operator of 69 channels in eight languages in the world’s fastest-growing subscription TV market, as well as Star’s popular Hotstar streaming service.