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It’s been rumored for a couple of weeks now but it became official on Thursday morning. The Walt Disney Company is acquiring the majority of assets from 21st Century Fox, thereby creating the world’s largest media company by far. This deal will have regulatory hoops to jump through all over the world and will probably take 18 to 24 months to close.
It’s much easier to list the assets that Disney will not get as opposed to what they do get. Not included in the deal:
- Fox Broadcast Network
- Fox News and Fox Business Channels
- FS1 and FS2
- The Big Ten Network
- The Fox Lot in Century City
What is included in the deal are the Fox Sports Regional Sports Networks. This will gut the available streaming content on FoxSportsGo. It will also be interesting to see if Disney chooses to hold on to them or spin them off to someone like AT&T who has jumped into the RSN business with their purchase of Root Sports last year. It could provide product for the new ESPN Plus streaming service and see all of the regionals rebranded under the ESPN name. Or taking on all of the additional rights fees for a contracting cable universe could be a killer. Disney could save tons of money by nationalizing the content of the regionals but maintaining the distribution model. In other words, why have two separate feeds for the home team and the away team when you could have just one under the ESPN banner? What the teams lose in in-game promotion mentions could be compensated for in free commercial spots.