Disney CEO Bob Iger announced this morning that his company is buying 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion in an all-stock deal.
Just before the deal is completed–assuming it passes regulatory muster–a new Fox will be be created and will include the 28-station Fox TV Station Group as well as the broadcast network, Fox News, Fox Business, FS1, FS2 and the Big Ten Network. Disney, however, will get the Fox Sports Regional Networks that, when paired with ESPN, will be a national sports distribution powerhouse.
Disney would have been barred from buying all of 21st Century Fox, as the FCC would have opposed one company owning two national networks. Disney already owns ABC and its 8-station group.
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The Fox TV stations group is one of the nation’s largest owned-and-operated network broadcast groups made up of 28 stations in 17 markets and covering over 37 percent of U.S. TV homes, including nine out of the 10 largest metro areas.
The Disney deal is expected to close in the next 12 to 18 months.