COLUMN: What the Disney-Fox Merger Could Mean
By now, you’ve probably heard the news. The Walt Disney Company has announced a definitive mega-deal to merge with Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, which includes the FX cable channel and – more importantly – the 20th Century Fox motion picture studio, which produced such classics as All About Eve, Planet of the Apes, The Sound of Music, and the original Star Wars movies.
The deal is worth over $50 billion, and is set to close by the end of next year. It does not, however, include the FOX Broadcasting Company, FOX News, FOX Business, and FOX Sports – all four of which will be spun off into an independent company.
Here’s my take on this massive deal. This is good news for Disney, especially for me as a company shareholder. Here’s an explanation…
Disney has realized that its future relies on streaming, and the reason why is because most cable networks and the three mainstream over-the-air broadcasters (in the case of Disney, the ABC broadcast network and the ESPN and Freeform cable channels) have mostly become identified with left-wing politics.
In linear television, you simply cannot alienate more than half the population by pushing a liberal agenda onto the masses. It especially does not help that people are watching linear TV much less these days, preferring sources like Netflix and Hulu for entertainment content.
Breitbart’s John Nolte put it this way:
The denial over the inevitable death of the scam that is cable and satellite TV (which Breitbart News has been predicting and covering since our launch) is the single-worst thing that could happen to these left-wing megacorps. As it stands now, through cable and satellite, these companies make billions of dollars annually for networks that no one watches.
He goes on to say that this move by Disney – a megacorp in itself – is overdue, and ‘hastening the end of cable TV.’ That is quite a revealing comment. When even Disney themselves realize how much trouble their linear television operations are in, you know how bad this situation is. One other thing that should be added is that in this day and age, if a major broadcast or cable network wants to remain viable, it has to aim at a broad audience rather than a niche one. You can’t just walk away from potential consumers.
Of course, Netflix and Hulu have their share of SJW propaganda, but unlike linear television, you don’t have to watch it if you don’t want to. Nor do you have to tune in at a certain time to watch something you just can’t miss.
Linear TV, whether it may be over-the-air or on cable, is a different animal. In the case of the “big three”, the scripted prime time shows that air on ABC, CBS, and NBC (and the FOX broadcast network to some extent) spit out some of the worst propaganda you’ll ever see – even worse than their morning or evening newscasts. That is perhaps the dumbest thing you could do in the entertainment industry.
On ABC for example, a recent episode of their drama Designated Survivor painted Christians as terrorists:
Lyor: Mr. President, it’s gonna be hard to control the narrative on this one if it drags on.
Seth: Try impossible. You step in, religious activists are gonna slam you for interfering with the rights of the mother.
Lyor: And children’s rights activists will declare you public enemy number one if you let the baby die.
President: Kendra, do we have any legal options that’ll help us deal with these people?
Kendra: No, there’s no legal prohibition for standing in the path of a fire, sir.
Lyor: Well, unless you’re barking mad, which these people clearly are.
Kendra: Clearly? No. But we can challenge their competency. If they are a danger to themselves, we can forcibly remove them. Which would clear the way to operate on baby Grace and solve our problem.
It doesn’t matter whether you support or oppose abortion, painting Christians as terrorists is pretty low coming from a scripted drama on a major broadcast network.
And that leads to another point that has to be made. If the merger between Disney and Fox indeed closes, then it will probably lead to either two situations…
- It may be time for the former to force Disney-ABC Television to say goodbye to president Ben Sherwood, a committed liberal who has turned ABC into the most far-left outfit in the history of broadcasting. It would be unfortunate for him to lose his job, but since he sits on the board of Soros-backed organizations such as the Center for Public Integrity and ProPublica, it may be for the best.
- It may also be time for what The Hollywood Reporter is suggesting, a transaction to spin off their Media Networks division into its own independent company. In this scenario, Sherwood will be able to keep his job, he just won’t be able to do his schtick under the Disney banner.
These two scenarios are just speculation of what could happen, but in this day and age, anything is possible. That being said, as we’ve learned from the DOJ suing to block the AT&T/Time Warner merger, nothing is certain. We’ll see how the deal between Disney and Fox pans out.