Every major entertainment company is buzzing with the earlier reports that Disney was in talks to buy several assets from 21st Century Fox. The proposed deal would include some of Fox's TV and movie productions, as well as its entertainment networks. At the time it was said that discussions had broken down, but a new report from earlier this week claims that those talks have reignited. However, now that the cat's out of the bag, Disney is no longer the only player in the deal. Apparently, Comcast is also interested in making a deal for 21st Century Fox.
According to reporting done by The Wall Street Journal (via Deadline), Disney and 21st Century Fox have renewed their discussion this week for Disney to buy some of Fox's assets. However, any momentum on that deal has to deal with Comcast, who is also looking to make a bid on Fox. Much like Disney, Comcast wants to "explore talks" to buy Fox's movie and TV studio, as well as some of its cable networks, and its stakes in satellite TV provider Sky, Star India, and Hulu. The Fox News channels, Fox Sports, The Fox Broadcasting Co., and local stations would not be included in the sale. Comcast owns NBCUniversal, and it is not permitted for one company to own and operate two broadcast television networks.
With both Disney and Comcast (Sony and Verizon are also reportedly showing interest) looking to make a deal with 21st Century Fox, who Fox decides to proceed with could greatly affect the media landscape and what people watch online. The deal shows how media companies are looking to expand their own streaming libraries to compete in a changing media environment as more people cut their cable cords. Disney, for its part, has already made plans to launch its own streaming service.
The Murdoch family, who own 39% of 21st Century Fox voting shares, will reportedly make a decision on whether to sell, and to whom, by the end of the year.
Should either Comcast or Disney make a deal with Fox, they would acquire Fox's vast library of movies and TV shows. Additionally, they would acquire the Avatar franchise, the X-Men and Fantastic Four movie rights, and the distribution rights to the original versions of the Star Wars films. On the TV side of things, the deal would have to be properly regulated. Disney and Comcast have plenty of overlap with Fox in certain areas, so there would have to be some cave-outs.
It's not yet certain that a deal will go through, but there will likely be new developments before the year is out. Stick with CinemaBlend and we'll keep you updated with new information as soon as it becomes available.