Disney Resumes Talks to Buy Bulk of Fox Film and Television Divisions


They are expected to make a decision about whether or not to make a deal by the end of the year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The proposed sale would include various assets of the Murdoch family's 21st Century Fox company, including the 20th Century Fox film and TV studio, FX Networks and National Geographic cable group, and Fox's various stakes in streaming platforms and worldwide TV channels like Hulu, Star India, and Sky. Negotiations are said to include Fox's movie and cable networks and worldwide divisions, including Sky. Fox's flagship TV network would not be included in any deal, nor would Fox News and Fox Sports.

Disney announced earlier this year it will pull its film content from Netflix in 2019 and launch a rival Disney-branded worldwide streaming service.

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Should Disney land the assets, it would have arguably the strongest entertainment business in world media, adding the valuable businesses and brands such as The X Men to Pixar, Marvel Entertainment, Lucasfilm and ESPN.

A deal with Disney might overcome some of those challenges.

But the possibility of a deal also comes as the Justice Department has moved to sue AT&T to block its planned acquisition of Time Warner, arguing that it would give the company too much control over content creation and distribution.

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However, that interest has now been reignited, according to the Financial Times in the United Kingdom, with a deal that could leave Fox, run by James Murdoch, with a highly focused news and sports media company. Disney owns Marvel Studios and the movie and TV rights to a lot of characters in the Marvel universe - most notably, the Avengers.

Representatives for Disney and Fox did not immediately respond to TheWrap's requests for comment.

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