Disney, Fox agree to deal that adds regional networks to ESPN

Disney, Fox agree to deal that adds regional networks to ESPN

Rupert Murdoch has sold 20th Century Fox and several other entertainment-based assets to the Walt Disney Company for $52.4 billion.

"Bringing Disney and Fox together will combine some of the world's most iconic entertainment franchises", said Disney on the deal.

The sports networks include the YES Network in New York, Prime Ticket and Fox Sports West in Los Angeles, and networks that carry 44 professional teams in Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the NHL.

As part of the deal, Disney will acquire the studios that produce Marvel superhero movies, "The Simpsons" and the "Avatar" franchise, along with along with cable and global TV businesses.

Disney's global footprint also expands with the acquisition of Fox's worldwide satellite assets, including Star TV network in India and a stake in European pay-TV provider Sky Plc.

The deal does not include Fox News, Fox Sports, the broadcast network, or local stations.

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The deal is subject to approval from shareholders and antitrust regulators.

"This is the right move at the right time as the marriage of these assets creates a much more formidable Disney", said Daniel Ives, an analyst at GBH Insights in a note to clients.

It's a massive deal, and definitely gives Disney more power than you can possibly imagine everyone else.

The deal also gives it a controlling interest in Hulu, another popular streaming service. "We're honored and grateful that [Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox] Rupert Murdoch has entrusted us with the future of businesses he spent a lifetime building, and we're excited about this extraordinary opportunity to significantly increase our portfolio of well-loved franchises and branded content to greatly enhance our growing direct-to-consumer offerings. But I look forward to talking to him about it", Iger said. "Furthermore, I'm convinced that this combination, under Bob Iger's leadership, will be one of the greatest companies in the world". It would also give Disney access to James Cameron's Avatar and Planet of the Apes.

"And during that period of time, he and I will continue to discuss whether there is a role for him here or not".

Furthermore, Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger, 66, will extend his tenure through the end of 2021 to oversee the integration of the Fox businesses.

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