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Disney, Fox deal expected

December 13, 2017

By Chris Forrester

The move by the Walt Disney Co to acquire much of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox movie-to-TV empire very much looks like happening this week. The deal has been valued as costing Disney some $60 billion (€51bn). Comcast dropped out of the rumoured bidding process for Fox on December 10th. Various sources say the deal could be announced tomorrow, December 14th.

If the deal closes, then one of the key assets, the Murdoch-backed Sky broadcasting interests in Europe would be wrapped into the Disney company, subject to – probably intense – regulatory approval. Quite where a change of ownership of Sky News would leave that – loss-making – broadcast operation is as yet unclear.

The New York Times, reporting on the deal and quoting well-informed sources, said that it also includes Murdoch’s stake in Star India.

Disney would also win the Murdoch holdings and control over the National Geographic channels, Fox’s stake in the Hulu OTT service and 20th Century Fox’s movie and TV studios.

If the deal closes, Murdoch would be left with Fox News, his FS1 cable sports channel and some broadcast assets within the Fox network and local TV stations.

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