Yesterday after months of rumors Disney’s purchase of Fox became a reality.
With this deal, Disney will get ownership of 20th Century Fox movie and television studio, Fox’s 22 regional sports channels, cable channels including FX and National Geographic, and Fox’s portfolio of international operations including a fast-growing pay-TV service in India. The deal will also give Disney 60% ownership of Hulu.
The deal does not include Fox News, the Fox broadcast network, television stations, or Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2. Newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, and Times of London and a portfolio of Australian properties are housed in a second company, News Corp.
So what does this mean for cord cutters?
In the short term, nothing will change. Just like with the AT&T deal to buy Time Warner, there are a lot of legal obstacles that both companies must deal with before the sale can go through. So in the short term, Disney and Fox are still two different companies.
What about Netflix and other streaming services?
After the sale goes through its still unlikely that much will change. Fox has already been pulling their shows from other services. Recently most Fox shows have been pulled from Netflix and moved to Hulu. With Disney owning 60% of Hulu now it’s likely these Hulu deals will continue going forward.
What about live TV services such as Sling TV & DIRECTV NOW?
Again nothing here is likely to change for some time. Fox and Disney have contracts with almost every major streaming service. These contracts must be honored so don’t look for any short-term changes.
In the long term, the only live TV service that Fox has a deal with that Disney does not is fuboTV. With that said, fuboTV has a long-term contract so I wouldn’t look for anything to change in the short term.
So what will effect cord cutters?
We know that Disney plans to launch a Disney-focused streaming service in 2019. According to all rumors, they plan to use Hulu to help jumpstart that service. The question now is will they turn Hulu into that service or just use the Hulu back end to build it.
Nothing, for now, is changing as contracts have to be honored. The main concern for cord cutters is what Disney will do with Hulu.
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