Until the Disney-Fox Deal Closes, Networks Find Themselves in Limbo

Upfronts are looming, but post-acquisition plans can’t be put into action yet

A number of networks are ready to implement new directives, but are forced to wait until the Fox-Disney deal closes.

John Landgraf has been thinking a lot about HBO in recent months, and not just for the usual competitive reasons. “I have an enormous amount of sympathy for the amount of the time they had to wait while that AT&T deal was closing,” said the FX Networks CEO, referring to the 20 months that passed between when AT&T first publicly disclosed plans to buy Time Warner and the $85 billion merger’s finalization in June 2018. Landgraf now has plenty of empathy for HBO as well, given that FX Networks, along with the rest of 21st Century Fox, is waiting for the Disney-Fox merger—first announced in December 2017—to close, likely sometime in the coming weeks. “We’re right in the same position, which is, we have really strong public guidance, but we just can’t get into the nitty-gritty,” said Landgraf. “And the devil’s in the details.”

This story first appeared in the March 4, 2019, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.
@jasonlynch jason.lynch@adweek.com Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.