Patent Riffs and Links – Disney to Acquire Fox

Disney Makes $52.4 Billion Deal for 21st Century Fox in Big Bet on Streaming | NYTIMES

Sports and cable networks ”To augment ESPN Plus, Disney is adding 21st Century Fox’s chain of 22 regional cable networks dedicated to sports, including the YES Network, which carries New York Yankees games…As part of the deal, Disney will also get the FX and National Geographic cable networks, and stakes in two behemoth overseas television-service providers, Sky of Britain and Star of India. That component of the deal would seem to contradict Disney’s push to lessen its reliance on traditional television, a business built on third-party cable subscriptions that is now in decline as people turn to streaming services for home entertainment…But those assets serve another one of Mr. Iger’s strategic goals: making Disney more of an international player.”

If Disney buys Fox assets, your TV, movie and sports watching could change | USATODAY

More sports ”Not sold: Fox’s national Fox Sports 1 network it launched — alongside FS2 — in 2013 to compete with ESPN. The company’s broadcast channel, which notably broadcasts national college football games, the World Series and NFL football would also stay with Fox.

What this means for sports: While Disney-owned ESPN has rights to a variety of national broadcasts for professional baseball, football, basketball, as well as major Division I college sports, it’s less deep on regional games. Fox’s networks would help make ESPN’s planned 2018 streaming service more attractive to sports fans that want to ‘cut the cord’ and ditch their pay TV service.”

Disney’s Fox deal means ESPN is going to double down on big, expensive sports TV deals | RECODE.NET
Hmmm “Some of the commentary I’ve seen suggests that adding Fox’s sports deals to ESPN is good for ESPN Plus, the digital subscription service it will (finally) launch this spring…But that doesn’t make any sense…None of the valuable stuff Fox owns can go into ESPN Plus, for the same reason none of the valuable stuff ESPN owns will be in ESPN Plus — it’s all tied up in pay TV deals, and will be for years to come. The stuff you’ll see on ESPN Plus will be the stuff ESPN doesn’t think is worth putting on TV. Adding more leftovers from Fox won’t make it much more appetizing.”

Disney to Become the ‘Walmart of Hollywood’ With Fox Studio Takeover | BLOOMBERG
Not sure the analogy is right, but there would be more control of production… “Walt Disney Co.’s deal with 21st Century Fox Inc. will transform Hollywood’s most successful studio into an even more powerful force, potentially pressuring rivals to consolidate, squeezing theater chains and furthering the industry trend of blockbusters and sequels…Disney will acquire Fox’s studio, cable channels such as FX and National Geographic, and international assets in a deal valued at $52.4 billion, the companies said Thursday. The deal can be completed in 12 to 18 months if regulators approve it, Disney said…’Disney is becoming the Walmart of Hollywood: huge and dominant, said Barton Crockett, a media analyst at B. Riley FBR. ‘That’s going to have a big influence up and down the supply chain…

Getting bigger would give studios more content and intellectual property, while cutting costs, helping them create movies that dominate the weekend box office, Crockett said…Fox would give Disney even more leverage in negotiations with theater chains, like AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., which have been undergoing their own wave of consolidation. Disney asked some theaters for a greater share of ticket sales for big films like ‘Star Wars, according to a person familiar with the situation. Usually the revenue is evenly split but on very popular films, Disney can claim more than 60 percent…Disney could try the same tactic again with Fox’s popular film franchises like ‘Avatar,’ which has four big-budget sequels in the works.”