As streaming services continue to gain traction and popularity, companies continue to fight to own content. Last December, Disney announced its plans to acquire Fox’s film and TV studios for a massive $52.4 billion. Later, there were talks of Comcast making their own bid for 21st Century Fox. Now, it looks like Comcast will push harder to in their efforts, as an attempt to block the Disney acquisition. So what does this mean for streaming services? How will this affect the users? Here’s a closer look.
Disney wants Fox
It’s hard to watch a movie these days without coming across Disney. Particularly if you’re a geek. After all, they own some of the biggest brands like Marvel Entertainment, Lucasfilm (Star Wars), Pixar and even ESPN. Now imagine adding Fox to that mix. That’s exactly what the company’s $52.4 billion bid is all about.
Should the deal materialize, Disney would claim ownership to a number of production companies and distribution networks. Additionally, the company would also grab the rights to quite a few intellectual properties. The most notable among them, being the X-Men, Deadpool, and Fantastic Four characters.
“The agreement also provides Disney with the opportunity to reunite the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool with the Marvel family under one roof and create richer, more complex worlds of inter-related characters and stories that audiences have shown they love.”
– Disney Press Release
If you’re wondering why Fox is looking to sell off most of the company, its to focus more heavily on the profitable news and sports side of things.
Comcast wants to stop Disney
Of course, it might take quite a while for the deal to actually materialize. Meanwhile, Comcast announced it’s intentions to acquire 21st Century Fox. Following the Disney offer, Fox shareholders will be voting on the offer in the coming months. But Comcast is looking to spoil Disney’s plans with their all-cash offer.
This isn’t the first time Comcast is pursuing Fox. Last year’s effort to grab hold of the company was cut off by the Fox board, owing to antitrust issues. The concern at the time was that the deal wouldn’t be approved. At the same time, should the AT&T – Time Warner merger happen, this might not be the case.
The race to conquer the streaming business
So what does this all mean for streaming services? Well, quite a bit actually. For instance, take Disney’s own upcoming streaming service, which they announced last year. Bringing all of Disney’s content under one service certainly sounds promising for the viewers. But not for other services like Netflix, this isn’t the case. Starting 2019, Netflix will lose access to the Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar movies.
Owing to this, Netflix has begun heavily investing in their own original content, with plans to spend as much as $8 billion. This would include original anime as well, particularly with hits like Violet Evergarden. Additionally, Matt Groening, the Simpsons creator is also adding a show to the streaming service. Meanwhile, Vox is also getting on board, with their Explained series.
Thanks to the Fox deal, Disney can potentially include many of Fox content like Avatar, Aliens, The Simpsons, etc. on to its upcoming streaming service. This would undoubtedly give an edge over rival services. Speaking of rival services, the acquisition would also grant Disney controlling interest over Hulu as well.
So what does this mean for us, the viewers?
You might be an avid Marvel fan itching to see the X-Men and Fantastic Four in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That will only happen if the Disney-Fox deal materialize. Even so, changes of this magnitude take time. We’re months away from knowing who the actual owner of 21st Century Fox will be.
One thing’s for sure. There will be a plethora of interesting content choices on offer for viewers (not that there aren’t any already). Sadly, that’s also where things get limited for Sri Lanka, with only Netflix offering their services here. But then again, you never know how things might pan out.
Feature Image Credits: The Daily Beast