21st Century Fox's assets include Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox News, Sky, Endemol and National Geographic.
XAutoplay: On | OffAccording to CNBC sources, Fox has been in talks over the last few weeks to sell most of itself to Disney, though a deal is not a certainty, and the outlet says Disney and Fox are not in talks "at this very moment".
Marvel CEO/Chairman Ike Perlmutter has been said to be at odds with FOX Studios over their Marvel-owned characters, but now maybe the talks with Disney purchasing FOX (Perlmutter is one of the largest Disney stock shareholders), have changed things.
Fox is said to believe that it does not have the scale to compete with organizations like Disney, Amazon, Netlfix, Facebook and Google, and that a group of properties more narrowly focused on news and sports could compete more effectively in today's marketplace. It would also have kept its broadcast network and the local broadcast stations it owns. Such an agreement would prevent Disney from violating FCC rules, which prohibit one company from owning more than one of the four major broadcast networks - Disney already owns ABC. It would not buy Fox's sports programming assets in the belief that combining them with ESPN could be seen as anti-competitive from an antitrust standpoint and it would not buy the Fox News or Business channel. Apple, which also reportedly eyed the company, has always been seen as a potential buyer for Disney. This could mean great news if you are a fan of the Marvel comic book superheroes. And more resources could perhaps be diverted to sports in a leaner company, allowing Fox to possibly pick up bigger rights packages.
Of course, if Fox and Disney come to an agreement, both sides must get something out of it. Disney would acquire Fox's movie studio, cable networks like FX, and global holdings including its 39 percent stake in Sky.
Fox shares leapt 8.9 per cent on the news to US$26.62 while Disney rose 2.04 per cent to finish at US$100.65 on Wall Street.
The move would give Disney control over two of the five highest-grossing film studios in the country. James Cameron is now at the helm of filming four back-to-back Avatar sequels to the most successful movie of all-time, and already worked closely with Disney on the new attraction Pandora - The World of Avatar at Orlando's Disney World.