This morning, Disney announced that after months of rumors and speculation, the company had finalized a deal to buy most of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets for a cool $52 billion. This is obviously a huge deal that allows Disney to have an even bigger piece of the Hollywood pie, as the company will now own massive franchises such as The Simpsons, Avatar, and Deadpool. But what does this deal actually mean for you? Here are three ways it will affect the way you watch and the properties you love.
The Streaming Wars Are About to Heat Up
A lot of people will focus on the fact that this deal means Marvel now owns almost every superhero, but the real story here is that this purchase puts Disney in a prime position to compete with Netflix when it launches its own streaming service next year. Beyond the fact that Disney will now own all the movies and TV shows that were previously owned by 21st Century Fox, which includes the coveted distribution rights for Star Wars Episode IV and the entire Fox network, the deal also gave them majority ownership of Hulu, one of Netflix’s top competitors.
Will Hulu survive this new deal? It’s too early to say but that won’t be an issue until Disney’s service launches in two or more years. This could spell trouble for Netflix, however, as it has always been able to stay one step ahead of other streaming platforms thanks to the sheer quantity of shows and movies on its slate. With this deal, Disney may finally have the library to give Netflix a run for its money. Which means we all may have a tough choice to make when Disney’s streaming platform launches in 2019.
There Will Be a Superhero Overload
Disney already owned Marvel Studios, the home of Iron Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the rest of the cinematic Avengers, but this deal means that they now own the rest of the Marvel superheroes, including such favorites as X-Men and Deadpool. There is a small chance this means massive overhauls for these super franchises but given their previous success, especially with Deadpool, that seems unlikely. Instead, Deadpool, Professor X, and the rest of the genetically-superior gang will likely be integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
How you feel about this part of the deal likely depends on how you feel about the MCU as a whole. For some, the idea of Wolverine and Captain America teaming up to fight Loki and Magneto is a dream come true; others, however, may find themselves exhausted by the pure number of superheroes onscreen.
You Won’t Have to Worry About Sports Network Mergers
Fox Sports is one of the few properties, along with Fox News, that Disney did not acquire as a part of the deal, meaning that we won’t have to hear speculation about ESPN and its top competitor combining to form some sports channel conglomerate. ESPN will remain the lone worldwide leader in sports; meanwhile, Fox Sports and Fox News are expected to spin-off and form their own business. This is one of the few areas where nothing is really changing, which is probably for the best.