Disney Could Be Purchasing A Majority Of 20th Century Fox

Disney Could Be Purchasing A Majority Of 20th Century Fox

Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox has held talks to sell most of its film and television assets to Walt Disney Co, which would gain new programming and expand its worldwide reach, CNBC reported on Monday.

Disney, which under US rules could not own two broadcast networks, would not purchase all of Fox, CNBC reported. CNBC reports that for Fox, the willingness to engage in sale talks with Disney stems from a growing belief among its senior management that scale in media is of immediate importance and there is not a path to gain that scale in entertainment through acquisition.

As well as adding Fox's TV assets to Disney's portfolio, a deal would create a Hollywood powerhouse. It would also exclude Fox's sports channels to avoid regulatory scrutiny that would come on concerns that combining with ESPN is anti-competitive.

Fox has had tremendous success in recent years with its X-Men films franchise based on Marvel Comics characters such as Wolverine and Deadpool (less so with the Fantastic Four superhero team), and with Marvel Studios already under the Disney banner, a deal could bring audiences one step closer to a fully unified Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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Talks about a possible deal between the two media giants, reported by CNBC and The Wall Street Journal, have not yet been confirmed by USA TODAY.

It is reported the Rupert Murdoc and his sons are looking at keeping their sports and news assets but selling off other parts of Fox. Disney would also not purchase Fox's local broadcasting affiliates, according to people familiar with the negotiations. Disney also would pick up Fox's Star and B Sky B worldwide networks. That £11.7bn ($15.41bn) deal has run afoul of regulators' concerns about media plurality in the United Kingdom and the Murdochs' commitment to broadcasting standards.

Disney in August announced a new direct-to-consumer streaming service to compete with Netflix that will cut Netflix out of much of its content mix.

After a deal was made between Sony and Marvel Studios to share Spider-Man, fans hoped Marvel and Fox could work out a similar deal to allow for the X-Men and Fantastic Four to join the Avengers on the big screen. In light of the news, neither Fox nor Disney have been able to be reached for comment or confirmation.

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