Comcast In Talks To Sell Its 30% Of Hulu To Disney

Disney and Comcast are holding talks about working out a deal for Comcast’s 30% stake, according to people familiar with the matter. Comcast is now weighing the pros and cons of doing a deal now rather than later, said these people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. It’s still unclear if a deal will transpire.

COMMENTARY

Heiress Blasts Disney Over Pay Disparity

Abigail Disney: “In 2018, Disney gave more than 125,000 employees a $1,000 bonus. But that $125 million or so was dwarfed by the $3.6 billion it spent to buy shares back to drive up its stock price and thus enrich its shareholders. Given that about 85% of stocks are held by the richest people in the country, this was a significant new investment in wealth inequality.”

MLB Ends Bid To Buy Disney’s RSNs

Major League Baseball won’t get a shot at controlling the nation’s regional sports TV networks, after all. MLB has resigned itself to becoming a minority investor — as Disney wraps up its auction of the 21 RSNs — giving up on a dream to become the operator of a nationwide chain of sports-focused TV channels.

Disney Will Proceed With RSN Bids

Disney is still considering spinning out its RSNs to shareholders as it prepares to move forward and take final bids for the 21 sports networks on Monday.

Disney’s New Blockbuster: Its Share Price

Shares in The Walt Disney Co. hit $129.85 at the opening bell Friday, up 13%, following Thursday’s news of details on its new streaming service Disney Plus.

3 Big Questions Disney’s Streamer Will Address

Among them: How it will fit in the larger Disney digital offerings, and how much it will be able to disrupt the streaming business generally.

Disney To Test Its Power With New Streamer

Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+, will test Marvel’s power, the reach of the Star Wars galaxy and the magic of animated classics spanning more than 80 years, coupled with the new-found bulk provided by its acquisition of Fox Entertainment assets.

Disney Faces Gender Pay Lawsuit

Two female employees sued Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday, alleging the company is violating the state’s equal pay act and paying women less than men doing similar work. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Tuesday. Disney said the suit was without merit.

Disney Announces Combined Post-Fox Upfront

On the heels of its acquisition of 21st Century Fox, The Walt Disney Co. just announced it will hold its first combined upfront event featuring their combined networks: ABC, ESPN, Freeform, FX Networks and National Geographic Networks. The event will be held May 14 in New York City.

Disney Expected To Lay Off 4,000 At Fox

The other shoe has dropped: Fox began the process of laying off about 4,000 employees on Thursday, one day after the film and TV studio finalized its multibillion-dollar sale to Disney, according to a studio executive. Senior-level staff will likely be the first impacted by the cuts, the executive said. Fox human resources began calling employees at the senior vice president, executive vice president and presidential level to deliver the news on Thursday.

Fox Touts ‘New Chapter’ In One-Time Promo

Now that the Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox is complete, Fox Entertainment — a unit of the newly formed, non-Disneyfied Fox Corp. — marked its “new chapter” with a one-time promotional video. Aired Wednesday at 8:32 p.m. ET, the 90-second trailer featured some of Fox’s most prominent television properties, past and present.

Disney Moves From Behemoth To Colossus

The ripple effects may not become clear for years. Analysts say that Disney could force smaller studios to merge as they scramble to compete. It will have greater leverage over theater owners when it comes to box office splits. And Disney’s plans to use Fox content to forcefully move into streaming could slow the growth of Netflix. “This deal definitely reshapes the landscape,” said Michael Nathanson, a leading media analyst.

With 20th Century Fox’s End, A New Era Dawns For Hollywood

The demise of 20th Century Fox as a standalone studio is an epochal event in Hollywood, one that casts long shadows over a movie industry grappling with new digital competitors from Silicon Valley and facing the possibility of further contraction.

What Disney Gets As Its $71.3B Buy Of Fox Assets Closes

It’s finally complete. Disney closed its $71 billion acquisition of Fox’s entertainment assets on Wednesday, more than a year after the mega merger was proposed . Disney gets far ranging properties ranging from Fox’s film studios, including “Avatar” and X-Men, to its TV productions such as “The Simpsons” and networks including National Geographic.

Disney Closes $71B Deal For Fox Assets

The deal for Fox’s entertainment businesses is likely to shake up the media landscape. Among other things, it paves the way for Disney to launch its streaming service, Disney Plus, due out later this year. It will also likely lead to layoffs in the thousands, thanks to duplication in Fox and Disney film-production staff.

Fox Corp. To Emerge Today

A new era for the Murdoch clan and the media business begins with the debut of Fox Corp. on Tuesday, a day before Disney completes its acquisition of 21st Century Fox. The new-model Fox will begin trading Tuesday on the NASDAQ under the FOXA symbol. On Tuesday, 21st Century Fox will initiate a complex transfer of the Fox Corp. assets — primarily Fox News, Fox Sports, and Fox Broadcasting — to the newly created Fox Corp.

Rupert Murdoch Begins His Hollywood Goodbye

Thirty-four years ago, Rupert Murdoch showed up in Hollywood with $250 million, buying a stake in the 20th Century Fox film studio – even though he had little interest in making movies. The scrappy Australian newsman, then known for his clamorous tabloids, was viewed with suspicion. Skeptics assumed he was a corporate raider intent on stripping value from the studio. Instead, Murdoch rescued a threadbare operation from financial ruin and turned it into the centerpiece of a growing empire that has reshaped the entertainment industry. Now, Murdoch is dismantling his life’s work: a kingdom worth more than $100 billion.

Disney Sets March 20 To Close Fox Buy

Disney has set a March 20 closing date for the acquisition of 21st Century Fox. The date was included in a release in which Disney indicated that the company has received the last major approval for the deal from regulators in Mexico. According to Disney, 21st Century Fox shareholders will have until Thursday to choose the amount of cash and Disney stock to receive in the $71.3 billion transaction.

With Fox, Disney’s Footprint Grows Larger

Walt Disney Co.’s entertainment kingdom is about to get a whole lot bigger thanks to its pending purchase of 21st Century Fox assets, and the rest of Hollywood has only just begun to grapple with the consequences of the company’s increasing power.

Iger: Disney Dealt With Stars’ Blacface ‘Privately’

Disney CEO Bob Iger said that the company “chose to deal with privately” with the past incidents of current Disney employees Jimmy Kimmel and Joy Behar darkening their skin, both of which have resurfaced in recent months. Those issues were brought up at Disney’s annual shareholder meeting on Thursday.

Disney’s Iger: Fox Deal To Close ‘Soon’

Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger told the studio’s annual shareholders meeting that the combined company will “hit the ground running” when the industry-rattling merger is completed.

Fox Employees Brace For Life Under Disney

There’s a lot of fear in the offices that comprise Rupert Murdoch’s and Bob Iger’s media empires. There have been mergers in Hollywood before. But the marriage of Fox and Disney is uncharted territory in the media landscape. There’s rarely been an acquisition of this size or a union of two such storied brands with distinct cultures. Disney, with its buttoned-down air, is far removed from the more Darwinian approach to management long favored by Fox.

Disney Cuts Iger’s Future Potential Earnings

The company is cutting an annual base salary increase of $500,000 that Iger was set to receive when the Fox deal closes and maintains his current base of $3 million. It cuts the annual bonus he was set to receive by $8 million to $12 million. It also cut his annual target long-term incentive award by $5 million to $20 million.

Disney’s Brazil Sale Clears Way For Fox Deal

Disney took a big step closer to completing its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Foxwith Brazil’s conditional approval of the deal Wednesday. In an agreement with Brazil’s antitrust agency, Disney will sell the Fox Sports cable channel that serves the largest media market in South America. Brazilian regulators focused on Disney’s ownership of ESPN and Fox Sports as giving it too much power over sports rights and related deals.

Disney In Talks For AT&T’s Hulu Stake

Disney wants to get even more control over Hulu: The company is in active discussions with AT&T to acquire the 10% stake that WarnerMedia owns in the streaming joint venture.

Murdochs Divvy Up Disney Payday

Walt Disney Co.’s $71 billion takeover of 21st Century Fox assets was expected to turn the Murdoch family into one of the biggest voices at the entertainment giant. But the six Murdoch children — heirs to billionaire Fox founder Rupert Murdoch — will be paid cash and stock from the deal individually, according to people familiar with the situation. That means they may not be much of a force at Disney, even though the family as a whole will become one of the biggest investors.

Competing In Streaming Could Cost Netflix

The streaming service landscape is growing. The industry, once dominated by a few companies, is now more than a dozen strong, and more players keep entering the game. Comcast, Warner Bros. and Disney are the latest entries, signifying a major shift in strategy for traditional cable television companies. And that could be bad news for Netflix, in particular.

Disney To Sell Fox Sports In Brazil, Mexico

Walt Disney Co., on the brink of sealing its $71 billion takeover of 21st Century Fox Inc. entertainment assets, will agree to sell the Fox Sports channels in Brazil and Mexico to win regulatory approval there, according to people close to the discussions

More Companies Pull YouTube Advertising

Walt Disney Co. is said to have pulled its advertising spending from YouTube, joining other companies including Nestle SA, after a blogger detailed how comments on Google’s video site were being used to facilitate a “soft-core pedophilia ring.” Some of the videos involved ran next to ads placed by Disney and Nestle.

Ron Miller, Who Rose To Top Disney, Dies

A former football player, he spent three decades working for Walt Disney, his father-in-law, and had notable successes — until things turned sour. Over four years — as president and, for 18 months, chief executive — he oversaw the creation of Disney Channel, the company’s cable network.

Marvel To Make 4 Animated Series For Hulu

Walt Disney Co’s Marvel superhero studio will produce four new adult-oriented animated series for the Hulu streaming service, Hulu said on Monday. Disney is reserving new programming for its own online platforms as the company works to transform into digital entertainment.

How Disney Is Making 21st Century Fox Disappear

With the $71.3 billion merger of two studios about to close, fears are mounting on the storied Fox lot as colleagues prepare to become rivals, Bob Iger’s every move is scrutinized and 4,000 jobs are about to vanish: “There will be bloodshed.”

Iger Doesn’t See Disney Getting Into Gambling

While much of the media business is getting ready to cash in on legalized wagering, Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger doesn’t expect the squeaky clean company to place bets on gambling. “I don’t see the Walt Disney Co., certainly in the near terms, getting involved in the business of gambling by facilitating gambling in any way,” he said Tuesday.

QUARTERLY REPORT

Disney’s Quarterly Results Beat Expectations

Walt Disney Co reported quarterly earnings on Tuesday that handily topped Wall Street estimates thanks to a booming theme park business and growth at its ABC broadcast network as the company invests in a digital media future.

Liberty Media Joins Bidding For Fox RSNs

Liberty Media has joined the bidding for the regional sports networks that Disney is trying to sell to finalize a deal with Twenty-first Century Fox, sources told CNBC. Liberty and Major League Baseball have submitted bids in the auction. Disney is selling them in order to complete its $71 billion deal to acquire Fox’s movie production and television assets, which included the regional sports networks. That deal is expected to close within weeks.

Disney’s Netflix Battle May Mean Profit Squeeze

Among traditional media companies, no one is making a bigger bet on streaming than Walt Disney Co. It’s all part of Ceo Bob Iger’s master plan to corral many beloved brands, from “Avatar” to “Zootopia,” and deliver them to the millions of viewers who now stream TV via monthly subscriptions. But challenging Netflix, the online pioneer with almost 140 million subscribers worldwide, will cost big money, especially with Disney digesting Fox.

What Will Happen To ‘Simpsons’ Under Disney?

When The Simpsons ends its 30th and current season this spring, it will have racked up 663 original episodes — having a season ago passed Gunsmoke (635) as the longest-running scripted program in television history. But with the Walt Disney Co.’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox pending, one of TV’s least likely institutions could prove more valuable to its new owner in retirement than as a going concern.

Disney Offers Financial Details Ahead Of Streaming

The Walt Disney Co. provided investors a more detailed look at its investment in building a direct-to-consumer business in financial documents filed today with the SEC. The company re-cast Disney’s results for the past three fiscal years to align with the new corporate structure created with last March’s re-organization.

DOJ May Let Disney Spin Off Fox RSNs

The Department of Justice is prepared to put the ball back in Disney’s court for unloading Fox’s regional sports networks, saving Disney from a fire sale and billions of dollars in losses, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation said. Justice is poised to allow Disney to spin off the control of Fox’s 22 regional sports networks to complete its $71 billion deal for Fox, one of the sources said, as opposed to finding an actual buyer.

Disney’s Iger Collects Record Payday

Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger missed his shot at a $60 million bonus but still got his largest-ever compensation package thanks to special awards issued in connection with his contract extension. Iger was awarded $65.6 million for 2018, including an $18 million cash incentive and $43.6 million in restricted stock and options.