Disney 'Closing In' On Deal to Buy 21st Century Fox

08 December, 2017, 01:27 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Disney 'Closing In' On Deal to Buy 21st Century Fox

When Bob Iger announced that he was once again extending his contract and stay with The Walt Disney Company through July 2nd, 2019, it was expected to be his last extension.

"If Disney is successful in acquiring the Fox RSNs, it would combine the biggest national sports network in the US, ESPN, with the biggest RSN group in the country, along with some of the most popular college conferences (SEC, ACC, and BTN)".

The CEO would likely remain at Disney for two to three years after finalizing a deal, according to a source close to the situation. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the negotiations are confidential.

Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Fox is exploring a potential sale as it is has been considered undervalued relative to its peers, said Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research.

"It's always good to look at what's going to create the most value for our shareholders", he told attendees.

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Losing the regional networks would leave Fox with a skimpy sports portfolio - the Fox broadcast network that airs NFL games and other sports including Major League Baseball's World Series.

Talk of a deal comes at a challenging time for television and film companies, who face fierce competition from tech giants like Netflix, Amazon and Google's Youtube, which are investing billions in content.

It is unclear if any Disney deal would be conditional on Fox's Sky bid succeeding, but today CNBC journalist Daniel Farber said: "It's my understanding that Disney would want to own all of Sky".

As Jackson pointed out, CNBC's David Faber estimated that FOX's RSNs would be valued at about $20 billion.

Those assets would offer the opportunity for both Comcast and Disney to broaden their global distribution footprint.

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