Disney buys 21st Century Fox: How will the merger affect Star Wars and more

The purchase counts for brands like Star Wars, Toy Story, Avatar, Deadpool as well as media companies like Star India and Tata Sky.

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A massive deal that the entire decade will remember, Walt Disney acquired a bulk of 21st Century Fox’s business for $52.4bn.

Among other investments, Disney will be scooping up Fox’s movies and television studios, regional sports network, and international holdings.

The move has added high-grossing films such as the original Star Wars movies, the Marvel superhero pictures, Avatar and Deadpool, as well as TV hits such as Modern Family and The Simpsons to the Disney family.

The purchase also extends Disney's global reach, adding media company Star India, and Fox's interests in Sky plc and Tata Sky to its bouquet.

As the media landscape is changing, Disney is investing heavily in online streaming platforms, as a way to counter a downturn in its pay-TV business and threats from these new rivals like Netflix and Amazon and has already announced an ambitious plan to introduce two streaming services by 2019.

Fox is creating a smaller firm focused on news and major live sports events in the US. It will hold onto its flagship Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Sports, Fox Television Stations Group, and sports cable networks FS1, FS2, Fox Deportes and Big Ten Network.

Disney has already discussed plans for two of its own streaming services: ESPN Plus, which will offer sports programming beyond what’s available via ESPN’s existing TV channels starting in spring 2018, and an unnamed platform set to debut in 2019 with all-ages content from Disney, Lucasfilm, Marvel, and Pixar.

Brands like Star Wars and Toy Story are attractive on their own, of course, but a stand-alone streaming service would be much more viable with other desirable TV shows and films from Fox’s considerable library.

As the deal gets closed between the two major entertainment conglomerates, we see it as another entertainment dynasty in the making. Regardless that it is a vertical integration or some horizontal alliances, many jobs will be eliminated in the process. The emerged stronger Disney will force opponents to cut jobs and become lean and mean in order to compete with Disney. 

This is not survival of the fittest, but rather survival for the biggest.

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