Disney Aggressively Resumes Pursuit Of Fox's Film/TV Assets; A Deal Could Happen Before End Of The Year

Disney Aggressively Resumes Pursuit Of Fox's Film/TV Assets; A Deal Could Happen Before End Of The Year

A new report has confirmed that Walt Disney Co. has resumed talks with 21st Century Fox to purchase the 20th Century Fox movie & TV studio, and it sounds like the deal could happen before the end of 2017.

Following a report from earlier this week that suggested the Walt Disney Company and 21st Century Fox had resumed negotiations about a potential blockbuster deal that would see Disney acquire several major assets, including the 20th Century Fox movie and TV studio, it looks like we've received official confirmation from the Wall Street Journal.

According to the new report, talks have started to seriously heat up between Disney and Fox over the past week, but it looks like there may be some heavy competition in the form of Comcast, who also remains extremely interested in pursuing a potential deal and are "being very serious" in studying Fox's assets. Sony and Verizon Communications also remain among the outside contenders. 

If the deal does close, Disney would acquire the 20th Century Fox film and TV studio, the FX Networks and National Geographic cable group, Fox's 30% stake in Hulu, and international TV platforms including Star India and its 39% interest in European satellite broadcaster Sky. These assets have an estimated combined value of around $48.5 billion - with 20th Century Fox film and TV valued highest at around $15 billion - so it's going to take a massive offer from Disney (or anyone) to sway the Murdochs into selling.

There's currently no timetable on when we could potentially expect a deal and the WSJ report does admit that the talks may ultimately not reach any sort of conclusion, but, then again, The Murdoch family is reportedly hoping to determine whether they should pursue a transaction by the end of the calendar year, so we should, at least, hear something relatively soon, one way or another. 

20th Century Fox currently holds the rights to the blockbuster X-Men franchise, which includes Wolverine and Deadpool, as well as the Fantastic Four franchise and while those are both lucrative properties that would help raise Marvel Studios to heights previously unseen, it sounds like Disney may actually be equally interested in acquiring both FX Networks and FOX TV, which produces the hit comedy Modern Family, a series that has aired on the Disney-owned ABC for the past nine seasons. The purchase would also give them additional power over at Hulu, which they currently co-own with Fox and Comcast, and adding Sky would then give them even more international reach. 
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