How Fox’s businesses would match up with Disney and Comcast


NEW YORK — Competing bids from Comcast and Disney for the bulk of Twenty-First Century Fox come as the media landscape changes and companies get more involved in both creating and distributing content.

X-Men and other movies from Fox’s studios would help beef up Disney’s upcoming streaming service. Comcast, already a major cable operator, would get a larger portfolio of cable channels including FX and National Geographic.

Comcast’s $65 billion cash bid Wednesday is higher than what many analysts were expecting and tops Disney’s all-stock offer, valued at $52.5 billion when it was made in December.

GBH Insights analyst Dan Ives said Comcast’s price “speaks to Comcast really wanting these key assets.” Disney is expected to make a counter offer.

Each bid raises different regulatory concerns, though this week’s approval of AT&T’s takeover of Time Warner signals that regulators might have a hard time stopping mega-mergers.

Here’s how the companies would match up:

MOVIES

Fox’s film studios, with “Avatar,” X-Men, the Fantastic Four and Deadpool, would pair well with Disney’s studios. This includes reuniting the Marvel franchises X-Men and the Avengers, as some of those characters were already in Fox’s hands when Disney bought Marvel in 2009. Disney also has the Muppets, Pixar and “Star Wars.”

In fact, Fox and Disney might pair too well, as far as regulatory concerns go. BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield estimates the combined studios make up 45 per cent of worldwide box office revenue. A larger studio could use its power to keep its movies in more theatres longer and squeeze out rival movies.

Comcast’s Universal movie business has such franchises as “Jurassic Park.” The Fox properties would expand Comcast’s reach, though the company would have just 25 per cent of the box office with Fox added, according to figures from Box Office Mojo.

TELEVISION

Fox’s TV productions include “The Americans,” “This Is Us,” “Modern Family,” and “The Simpsons.” Its networks include FX Networks and National Geographic. The Fox businesses would pair well with Disney channels like ABC, the Disney Channel and Freeform. “Modern Family” already airs on ABC.

Comcast owns NBCUniversal, including the NBC broadcast network, CNBC and USA. Comcast’s studios produce “Chicago Fire” and “Will & Grace,” both airing on NBC.

Comcast might run into regulatory problems because the cable operator would control a larger portfolio of content along with its distribution. However, a federal judge on Tuesday approved a similar attempt by DirecTV owner AT&T to buy Time Warner. The judge rejected the government’s fears that the AT&T deal could lead to higher prices for consumers or hinder online alternatives from getting content.

Regardless of which company prevails in buying Fox, the Fox television network and some cable channels including Fox News will stay with media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

SPORTS

Disney’s deal includes getting Fox’s regional sports network, which shows hometown sports in several cities including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Cleveland, Detroit and Kansas City. Those networks would complement Disney’s nationally focused ESPN. Disney recently launched ESPN Plus, a separate streaming service with more local offerings. That service could benefit from Fox’s regional offerings.

Comcast already has similar …read more

Source:: Nationalpost – News

      

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