Disney wants Fox's regional sports networks to boost ESPN

Frederick Owens
December 8, 2017

According to the LA Times, Disney's board would extend Iger's contract to help the company navigate the significant regulatory hurdles needed to finalize any Fox buyout deal, and to oversee integration of Fox properties within Disney.

"If Disney is successful in acquiring the Fox RSNs, it would combine the biggest national sports network in the US, ESPN, with the biggest RSN group in the country, along with some of the most popular college conferences (SEC, ACC, and BTN)". But, with Disney possibly purchasing Fox as soon as next week, team-ups that we've come to take for granted in the comic book realm may soon be made reality.

"It's always good to look at what's going to create the most value for our shareholders", he told attendees.

As early as next week, Disney may announce the acquisition of key assets of the Rupert Murdoch-controlled Twenty-First Century Fox.

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Acquired assets in the potential deal will include Star, Nat Geo, regional sports networks and Fox's stakes in Hulu and Sky.

Fox's regional sports networks are valued at $22.4 billion, according to an analysis Wednesday by Guggenheim Securities.

Fox shares were up 0.57 per cent in late afternoon trading, while Disney was down 2.45 per cent. Comcast shares were down 1.56 per cent. The deal, which could alleviate pain points for both companies as the media industry rapidly consolidates, would potentially see James Murdoch succeed Disney C.E.O.

Those assets would offer the opportunity for both Comcast and Disney to broaden their worldwide distribution footprint. Meanwhile, AT&T and Time Warner are seeking approval for an $85 billion mega-merger.

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