The 21st Century Fox and Disney are set to announce a $60bn deal tonight. The reports emerging in from the British and the US markets suggest the formal announcement of the sale of 21st CF to Disney will be made later today before the start of the US market.
For a better understanding of the deal from the Indian perspective, Disney will pocket the entire Star India portfolio that includes a bouquet of 69 TV channels operated in eight languages by Star along with the popular streaming platform Hotstar. In addition to the Star portfolio, Disney will also acquire 20th Century Fox movie and television studios, 22 regional cable networks dedicated to sports, Fox’s stake in the Hulu streaming service, cable networks such as FX and National Geographic, stake in UK-based satellite TV major Sky. Fox Sports and Fox News channel, the only assets excluded from the deal, will stay with 21st CF.
Murdoch family, according to reports, will own 5% stake in Disney following the present deal, and also continue to own News Corp, which includes titles The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun.
The $60 billion deal will mark one of the largest media deals in recent years. Analysts say this deal has the potential to force a dramatic change in the media landscape. The deal with Twenty-First Century Fox Inc would undoubtedly give Disney, the world’s best-known entertainment company, many added advantages like the cricket rights and local-language TV shows for the fast-growing media market in India. Disney would be able to distribute its programming on Star India’s bouquet of 69 TV channels as well as the popular Hotstar streaming service. Disney also would gain global rights to professional cricket.
India represented the second-largest subscription TV market in Asia, with 154 million households in 2016, according to consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers, which projected that number will grow to 167 million by 2021. Mobile video traffic, meanwhile, is booming. KPMG expects it will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 68% between 2016 and 2021. With this kind of a large market to cater to, Disney with the deal can surely realize its global expansion dreams.