Rupert Murdoch: Fox's $52.4B asset sale to Disney 'makes sense'

Rupert Murdoch: Fox's $52.4B asset sale to Disney 'makes sense'

The BBC says that the sale was an unexpected move by Fox owner Rupert Murdoch. It also includes FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, Fox Networks Group International, Star India and Fox's interested in Hulu, Sky plc, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group.

"This gives us the ability to marry the great content of Fox with the great content of Disney, it gives us a much larger global footprint, and it enables us to use cutting-edge technology to reach consumers in far more compelling ways", Iger told ABC's "Good Morning America" program.

"There's a lot of change coming, people watch television differently, not news or business, but entertainment they watch very differently".

The deal allows Disney to expand its content, especially for streaming services. The company also gains a controlling stake in Hulu.

To diversify its portfolio, the broadcaster has only recently launched Disney International HD, an English GEC channel with original and exclusive Disney content and targeted at the audience in the 14-25-year age bracket. He noted that while they're still planning to support cable channels and external distribution channels, this will also set them up to be ready to "flip a switch and distribute those programs and channels direct to consumer through platforms we've created".

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When considering 21st Century Fox's acquisition of Sky, media regulator Ofcom originally dismissed concerns over broadcasting standards - citing Sky's good reputation for news. Disney would then assume full ownership of Sky as long as Fox's transaction is completed before Disney's. The deal was made for $52.4 billion in stock, Disney announced.

The deal will needs to undergo regulatory review and will likely take at least a year to close. Rumors have been circulating for quite some time now, but in the end, Disney was the only company left at the table.

In a statement, Murdoch said: "We are extremely proud of all that we have built at 21st Century Fox".

How will investors value the remaining Fox business? "But I look forward to talking to him about it", Iger said. "He will be integral to helping us integrate these companies over the next number of months and during that period of time we will continue to discuss whether there is a role for him here or not". "Furthermore, I'm convinced that this combination, under Bob Iger's leadership, will be one of the greatest companies in the world".

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