back to article Murdoch's Fox empire is set to become a literal Mickey Mouse outfit

Most of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox empire is being flogged to Disney for $66bn, including large chunks of the film and telly businesses. An announcement from the Walt Disney Company, as old Walt’s empire is formally known, said that a “definitive agreement” had been entered into between 21st Century Fox and Disney. “ …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does the T stand for Tiberius?

    1. iron Silver badge

      THE, duh

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        duh doesn't start with T?

      2. The Indomitable Gall

        @iron

        " THE, duh "

        Ooh, embedded initialisms!

        What does T.H.E. stand for?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >Does the T stand for Tiberius?

      No, Twat

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I hardly think a children's entertainer is going to have twat as a middle name, you wouldn't get to the interview stage.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Childrens Entertainer

          I hardly think a children's entertainer is going to have twat as a middle name, you wouldn't get to the interview stage.

          Well, a fair number of childrens entertainers from the 70s and 80's proved to be poor choices in retrospect, despite mostly only having mildly silly names and only somewhat ridiculous looks....

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. iron Silver badge

    With this buy Disney will finally own the rights to all the Star Wars films (currently Fox own the rights to Star Wars itself). This would make it possible for Disney to re-release the original trilogy as it was filmed, without George Lucas' later vandalism.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      The Finally-Freed-From-The-Tyranny-Of-Its Director's Cut?

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        The Finally-Freed-From-The-Tyranny-Of-Its Director's Cut?

        Three hurrays, a Wookie growl and a talking penguin squeak for that idea.

        1. Aqua Marina Silver badge

          It also means that the new Star Wars films can have the 21st Century Fox fanfare at the beginning of the films again. It hasn’t felt the same without that in the past couple of films.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Maybe we can get a smashup with the Alien franchise.

          Wookies vs. Aliens.

          vs. Goofy

          on Tron bikes.

          and Captain Hook is coming too.

          Mickey isn’t actually the Disney corporate spokesman. Just in case anyone out there was dim enough to take that seriously.

          WUH? DUH?

          Ok, it's the 21st century and suicidal "millenials" are coming online, but still...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            What about the ultimate battle?

            Aliens & Predators Vs Ewoks and Wookies

            1. Chemical Bob

              Aliens and Predators vs Steamboat Willie

              1. Teiwaz Silver badge

                Aliens and Predators vs Steamboat Willie

                Non one is going to be able to convince that's not a porno....

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            "Maybe we can get a smashup with the Alien franchise."

            Yes...... Disney owns Fox, Fox owns Alien.

            The daughters of the Alien queen are now Disney princesses.

    2. BillG Silver badge
      Mushroom

      The New Star Trek

      All I care about is, Disney better not screw with The Orville.

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: The New Star Trek

        What you LIKE Orville? F*** me backwards. In the UK, EVERYBODY hates Orville. You know why?

        https://youtu.be/2c8PUVIKgI4?t=11

        That's why. I appreciate the US remake lost something of the original, but isn't that always the way?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The New Star Trek

          Not as much as cuddles.

        2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

          Re: The New Star Trek

          At least the American Orville can actually fly...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      These are not the 4k blu-rays you are looking for.

    4. pisquee

      Can we just have the 21st Century Fox Fanfare put at the beginning on the Disney/Star Wars films now?!

  4. alain williams Silver badge

    A very rich mouse

    I wonder what Murdoch will do with the money ?

    1. Reader2435

      Re: A very rich mouse

      I wonder what Murdoch will do with the money ?

      Probably hoping to do a deal to buy immortality... with whoever can supply it...

      1. Mike Lewis

        Re: A very rich mouse

        Rupert's mum lived until she was 103 so we might be stuck with Rupert for a while yet (he's 86).

        In all the interviews I saw with Elisabeth Murdoch, I'm disappointed that no-one asked the question "What do you think went wrong with your and Keith's child rearing?"

        1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

          Re: A very rich mouse

          His ruthlessness probably made him what he is today (INSERT EXPLETIVES HERE). Good job he never went into the banking industry...

      2. Tim99 Silver badge

        Re: A very rich mouse

        "Probably hoping to do a deal to buy immortality... with whoever can supply it...

        I thought that after living a very long and evil life serving the dark side, he was killed?

        Oh, sorry, I got confused, that was the Palpatine Emperor; an easy mistake to make.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A very rich mouse

      "wonder what Murdoch will do with the money"

      Probs the same as any other person in their mid 80's who comes into some money. Coke, hookers and werthers originals.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A very rich mouse

        >Coke, hookers and werthers originals.

        And industrial quantities of Viagra

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A very rich mouse

      ferrero rocher of course and maybe buy a small island so he can shoot poor people to death on it.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A very rich mouse

      Buy an Internet Service Provider in the U.S. natch'. Coincidence that they sold at about the same time that net neutrality was rescinded - methinks not.

    5. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Re: A very rich mouse

      I wonder what Murdoch will do with the money ?

      I don't know, but AFAIAA, he won't be taking it to any afterlife. Maybe he spend it all on gold, and have his body cast at the centre of a vast ingot of the stuff?

      Then the rest of humanity could bury the ingot under a public convenience.

  5. frank ly Silver badge

    re. Bootnote

    Mr. Mouse is definitely in charge and very much hands-on.

    NSFW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TF4_4g1B2Ug

  6. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I noticed that Fox news was not included in the deal, I wonder if that is because Disney didn't want to be spending money on the pile of crap that passes as a news channel.

    Since news channels are costly to run and don't usually make money for TV networks how long it will it survive without the financial backing of the rest of the Fox media empire to prop it up remains to be seen.

    I wonder if Murdoch knows something we don't why he is keen to get rid of his assets, with all the recent allegations of sexual misconduct going around the media industry, perhaps he thinks he could be in the firing line next and wants to sell before shares of Fox plummeted on some allegations against him.

    1. Daedalus Silver badge

      Git while the gittin's good?

      I think Murdoch is seeing the end times for mass market entertainment and has decided to cash in his chips while they're still worth something.

    2. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

      I noticed that Fox news was not included in the deal, I wonder if that is because Disney didn't want to be spending money on the pile of crap that passes as a news channel.

      There might be regulatory issues that prevent them from keeping it.

      They might also not want to be involved in news broadcasting at all, no matter what the political and other nature of the station.

      1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

        I assume that Fox "News" and such aren't included because Disney already owns the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) network, which owns 8 stations on its own dime, and serves 230-some-odd affiliate stations -- making it the largest broadcaster by station-count in the country -- and figures that adding MORE stations might invite more anti-trust scrutiny that it's ALREADY going to get.

        (Also, ABC's national news operation is generally pretty centrist and well respected by all but the most partisan viewers and critics and why would they want to risk that by stirring Fox "News" into the pot?)

        1. My other car is an IAV Stryker

          Re: News, TV stations, and SPORTS

          I agree with others that the right-vs-left Fox News vs. WDC (as a whole) could have been a factor, but I imagine the ownership of competing TV affiliates was the potential deal-breaker from the FCC.

          I'm glad, because on the sports side I can only watch my favorite BIG (Big Ten) football teams (that's collegiate gridiron, folks) on either ESPN/ABC or Fox Sports / Big Ten Network (Fox owns half of BTN; the conference owns the other half). ESPN/ABC rarely carry Big Ten, and when they do it seems the commentards are biased towards the non-Big Ten opponent no matter what. Fox/BTN's visuals aren't as good, but at least they try to show some love for the teams, and lately the school marching bands too. (Woo! Go band!!!) As much as I dislike the current situation, making BTN (and Fox Sports) go away would be a "bad thing".

          I also like pro hockey, of which ESPN cares NOTHING about, and NBC Sports is as lousy as ESPN above. I'll keep Fox Sport's hockey coverage, thank you. (Except for those wonderful times my local team happens to be on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, despite -- obviously -- not being Canadian. My TV service includes the nearest CBC channel. The resolution isn't always great but HNIC is full-HD and awesome.)

          Now excuse me, I have a New Year's Day bowl game to prepare for. I'm thinking a big (crock-)pot of chili. If the game is at noon, I better start the day before and have it simmering by midnight (6 hours minimum, 9 hours desired, 12 hours best).

    3. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      I suspect there are two reasons and it's a combination of the two.

      First being that Murdoch came from a news background, news is what he knows and disrupting industries is something he has done in the past, so he sees a future in the changing news market and has an idea about how he can benefit from that change, and that idea requires money.

      The second is that Disney already owns some news and sports networks (proper news, not like Fox*) and wouldn't be interested in the deal if they were included - ESPN is losing enough money thanks, and the possible antitrust implications of the news networks are also a no-no. Therefore if the news and sport were included, Disney wouldn't be interested.

      * Before anyone trolls me, Fox were taken to court in 1994. Their defence was that unlike other news stations they are not obliged to tell the truth as they are under an "opinion" licence, not a "news" licence like CNN or MSNBC. They won. Therefore I feel completely justified calling Fox "the home of fake news", as they have admitted in court that they make things up and are legally entitled to do so.

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Unhappy

        RE: Zippy's Sausage

        But but Donald Trump says CNN is the home of the fake news?

        You mean they're just lying bastards but not as bad as Fox?

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "Their defence was that unlike other news stations they are not obliged to tell the truth as they are under an "opinion" licence, not a "news" licence like CNN or MSNBC. They won. Therefore I feel completely justified calling Fox "the home of fake news", as they have admitted in court that they make things up and are legally entitled to do so."

        They really ought to have a "For entertainment purposes only" disclaimer on screen at all times.

    4. AndyN33

      Disney already own ABC News, so they didn't take Fox News due to monopoly concerns possibly slowing down the deal (or even stopping it completely).

    5. Blank Reg

      I expect Disney just didn't want to have any association with the steaming pile of lying crap that is fox news as it doesn't work with the corporate image that they want to project.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "I expect Disney just didn't want to have any association with the steaming pile of lying crap that is fox news"

        On the other hand they could have picked it up and then immediately shut it down.

    6. Mark 85 Silver badge

      I noticed that Fox news was not included in the deal, I wonder if that is because Disney didn't want to be spending money on the pile of crap that passes as a news channel.

      So Fox News won't officially be a Mickey Mouse company? Shocked, I am.

    7. Teiwaz Silver badge

      , I wonder if that is because Disney didn't want to be spending money on the pile of crap that passes as a news channel.

      Nah, Fox News is not even a fairy tale the mouser could make watchable, even if they only release it to rent/buy/whatever only when Halleys comet is close.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I refused to pay for Sky because it was Murdoch owned, expensive and shit, so I now refuse to pay for it because it's American owned, expensive and shit (q.v. Virgin Media)

    1. Ledswinger Silver badge

      I now refuse to pay for it because it's American owned, expensive and shit

      And likely to be much more expensive soon, as Disney try and recoup the billions of dollars of "goodwill" they've likely acquired.

      Any existing Sky customer celebrating that they soon won't be contributing to the old scrote's coffers might want to brace themselves for two or three years of double digit price rises (as happened when Virginmedia got bought out by Libertyglobal).

  8. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    Okay -- so -- now, The CopyRight should exist FOREVER company just bought .....

    oh never mind. Likely someone has said it in one of the movies that Disney now owns and I'll end up driving rendering clusters in a basement in california for $3/hr 19hr/day 363 days a year for the rest of my life if I continue.

  9. sz54c8

    Awesome!

    Does this mean the X-Men and Deadpool can now join The Avengers?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Awesome!

      Don't forget Howard the Duck.

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: Awesome!

        You must not of been paying attention. Howard the Duck already did join (if you look carefully enough, though I may have mistaken a different duck?).

        I think all the Xmen are lampshaded in Avengers due to the appearance of the Inhumans. Thus making them a different "universe", and not of the in universe alternate universe type... oh, it's rather complicated.

        1. David Webb

          Re: Awesome!

          Howard was in the afterscenes for GOTG which led people to believe there would be a new Howard The Duck movie, now with Disney there will be, it'll be X-Rated and contain Howard x Donald having a McScrooge.

          1. Captain DaFt

            Re: Awesome!

            now with Disney there will be, it'll be X-Rated and contain Howard x Donald having a McScrooge.

            No, it'll be an R rated slugfest as both declare,"There can be only ONE! Waauugh-waa-waa-wah!" ☺

  10. James 51 Silver badge

    Disney is going to have quite a bit of content now in its walled garden when it refuses to put any of its content on any other streaming service. Might free up some space for new innovative shows.

  11. tiggity Silver badge

    And the quest for

    Disney becoming a substantial monopoly continues

    Not that it affects me, I already boycott Murdoch & Disney content as I disagree with their ethics

  12. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    "Bob Iger, chief exec of Disney, whose tenure is being guaranteed until 2021 as a result of the deal, said in a canned quote: 'We’re honoured and grateful that Rupert Murdoch has entrusted us with the future of businesses he spent a lifetime building.' ”

    I'll bet he DIDN'T say that.

    Is the "...honoured..." El Reg's response to all the Brit readers complaining about USian spellings creeping over their garden walls or did the Disney press release really use the superfluous "u"?

    1. Kajiki

      Even americans can learn.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      El Reg have done us the courtesy of translating it from a foreign language to English.

      I think we can all progress on that contact point.

      1. frank ly Silver badge

        I'm sure he did 'say' that. How you spell it in writing depends on which language you use, English or American.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      superfluous? How dare you sir, you insult my honour.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge
        Gimp

        Superfluous - Able to leap excessively tall buildings with an extra bound.

        icon gimp : pretend it's a mexican wrestling hero..

  13. IGnatius T Foobar
    Megaphone

    FOX News not included in the deal

    FOX News is not included in the deal, nor are several other television channels. This keeps the centrist news channel out of the hands of ultra-left-wing Disney.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: FOX News not included in the deal

      Say what you like about Uncle Walt - he was always a firm supporter of socialism.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: FOX News not included in the deal

        -->Say what you like about Uncle Walt - he was always a firm supporter of socialism.

        Say what you like about Uncle Walt - he was always a firm supporter of NATIONAL socialism.

        IFTFY

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. kbutler.toledo

          Re: FOX News not included in the deal

          NAH-NAH... You must be too young and still have your nappies too tight. No body remember the McCarthy era and the black lists, feed bu none other than uncle Walty, the snitch and turncoat.

    2. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: FOX News not included in the deal

      "FOX News is not included in the deal, nor are several other television channels. This keeps the centrist news channel out of the hands of ultra-left-wing Disney."

      Now THAT'S comedy!

  14. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Genius!

    Despite what it seems Murdoch got a good deal. He sold pretty much everything in exchange for Walt Disney's head freezing technology and money for all the ice to keep it cold for the next billion years.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Genius!

      Freezing heads is easy. Any fool can do it.

      It's successfully thawing them out that you need technology for...

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Genius!

        I have it on good authority that you can use a microwave for that...There's a youtube video and everything...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Genius!

          Is that statement set in concrete?

          1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: Genius!

            More of an expanding foam to be honest

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No need for Disney to buy Fox News

    It's all downside for them: the people who hate Fox News would be appalled at Disney and start taking their wrath out on Disney's other properties (you can imagine the "Boycott Disneyworld, owned by evil right wing media empire!" campaign). Not good. And the people who love Fox News are already paying customers of all the other stuff that Disney puts out: movies, theme parks etc. Adding Fox doesn't make those people spend any more.

    With the end of net neutrality coming any day now, the media landscape is going to be content+ISP conglomerates at the top of the pile (comcast/NBC being one example, ATT/timewarner another), then premium content providers with strong enough brand to stand alone (HBO, if the ATT deal collapses, and things like the NFL), and then a big gap of nothingness followed by the table scraps. Expect the major OTT suppliers to be looking very very hard at 5G fixed wireless access now, as a way to build out their own distie networks. I foresee lots of deals with muni authorities along the lines of "Google fixed all our streetlights, and put broadband access on the top of each one!". 'Course, Google will then play by the same rules as the telcos are trying to get, ie block out competitors.

    1. J. Cook Silver badge

      Re: No need for Disney to buy Fox News

      At least there's be something approaching competition for a little bit. In my area, I can either have mostly reliable broadband with a 1 TB month cap and a promised guarenteed speed rate for under one hundred american notes, or something approaching the same speeds without any promises that I'll actually get it (aDSL), no reliability guarentee (oh a bird sat on the line and you lost your internet? sucks to be you!), the same data cap, for about the same price. I've not even looked at wireless internet for the house, except that while it's not great (worse than a hard wired connection), it's at least not Canada's wireless arrangement. (Pay by the BYTE, and crap service at that.)

  16. handleoclast Silver badge
    Coat

    Disney announces no change in policy over satire.

    Fox allowed The Simpsons to frequently make fun of Fox itself.

    Disney has announced that The Simpsons will be allowed to continue that tradition. The Simpsons will still be allowed to criticise Fox. They'll get shitcanned if they even think of making fun of Disney.

  17. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Paolo Pescatore of analyst haus CCS Insight commented: [...] [Disney] to compete head on with the threat posed by the Web providers such as Amazon and Facebook.

    Facebook ? You mean Kitten videos on Facebook are gonna compete with Disney ? Insightful, not!

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Of course not

      The kitten videos have already won.

  18. Joe Gurman

    According to US courts....

    ....Fox has no "news" division, only an "opinion" operation, The distinction saves them from constant libel suits as they continue lying through their teeth.

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: According to US courts....

      They should be sued for false advertising and forced to rename themselves "Fox Opinion", as per their own admission.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this a sign of the end times?

    It at least looks like there is an empire rising this weekend. And I'm not talking about the one in Star Was at the box office!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does he have cancer?

    statistically speaking...Men don't live as long as women,

  21. John Savard Silver badge

    Pity

    Perhaps if Disney had kept (or, rather, were keeping) Fox News, it might have changed its editorial policy to make it a bastion of objectivity that would enhance the company's reputation - like the New York Times or the BBC.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What will Murdoch do with the money......

    He'll take all the "News" operations private, that includes the assorted print operations he still owns.

    Once he has them private the shackles will be totally off in regards what fake cr*pola he'll publish/broadcast.

    He was always a wet ink guy at heart.

  23. Dinsdale247

    We empower these corps

    Turn off your TV and send your kids outside. Stop buying toys from walmart/toys r' us/<big box store here> toys and watch these "empires" collapse.

    1. King Jack
      Childcatcher

      Re: We empower these corps

      Sadly you cannot explain that to sheep and sheep's gotta be fleeced.

  24. Captain DaFt

    Okay, here's the scary part:

    Part of what Disney bought was 20th Century Fox.

    That means (If the deal goes through) that Marge and Lisa become official Disney Princesses™!

  25. Kev99 Bronze badge

    "Mickey isn’t actually the Disney corporate spokesman. " No, he's the US president. How else can you explain the Mickey Mouse decisions being made in Washington.

    1. Dinsdale247

      Not Really

      Mickey Mouse was known for waffling on decisions. Regardless of your opinion on the White House decisions; waffling is not what Donald Trump does.

      Now Obama... That's a different story...

  26. antiquam bombulum

    Dirty Digger?

    As an Australian from the home town of his original paper (the execrable and unlamented "News"), it is with great relief that I state that he is no longer a "digger" (although "dirty" he may well be in a number of senses), having relinquished Australian citizenship in order to buy US companies. And I'd go further and add, with some feeling, that he's not just "not Australian", he's "un-Australian". An utterly malignant individual.

  27. mediabeing

    Rupert Murdoch should be 6 feet under or at least in prison for the rest of his poisonous life!!

    This message is addressed to The People of The United States of America -

    In case you've lived under a rock for the last 2 generations, Rupert Murdoch and his evil minions has poisoned the United States of America with divisive lies that millions have taken as truth due to regular repetition of the lies. "It must be true, it's on TV!"

    The FIFTY BILLION DOLLARS Murdoch is getting from this sale should go directly into the coffers of the United States of America for the benefit of its citizens, nowhere else!

    Happy with traitor Trump as President? Thank Murdoch, his twisted lieutenant, Roger Ailes, and their many immoral spokespeople paid to squirt lies daily to The People of America with a smile.

    As long as we're hypothetically imprisoning professional liars, poisonous propagandists, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Alex Jones and many others should also be residing in penitentiaries.

    It should be against the law to repeatedly lie to The People because there are many among us who believe that verbal crap.

    Do you like the way America is now? Like the tension between the red and blue states?

    Like the way the religious are crippling public schools with religion?

    Like all the haters that think they're in the right in limiting the basic freedoms of other Americans?

    If you do, then you've been fooled and poisoned too. Way to go.

    I will celebrate on the day of Rupert Murdoch's demise.

    Put me in a room with him, give me a loaded pistol, and I'll be happy to spend the rest of my life in a prison for bringing about his end. I'll plead righteous insanity.

    Murdoch has ruined millions of lives. He's no better than Hitler, Pol Pot, etc.

    While I'm jabbering, DON'T elect any more lawyers to political positions!

    Lawyers are programmed in school to WIN no matter who or what gets hurt.

    You DON'T want that kind of politician making the laws or voting on critical issues!

    NO MORE LAWYERS IN POLITICS! Got me??

    REPEAL THE GOD DAMNED 'CITIZENS UNITED' law and ruling that has put the greedy corporations in the driver's seat of our governments (federal, state and local) if you want a nation by, for, and of The People again!

  28. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Alert

    Spectrum ROM

    Oh dear, I've just realised this probably means Disney now have the rights to it (they went from Sinclair to Amstrad to Sky but Amstrad let anyone copy it if they credited them and Sky didn't change that).

    Hopefully Disney's fleet of IP lawyers won't notice what they've got. If they do they might not rest until the whole of the Internet is scrubbed of the ROM images.

  29. kbutler.toledo
    Facepalm

    M I C... K E Y... MOUSE !

    Disney?????

    Does that mean that Hannity & (F)riends will wear mouse hats to go with their little minds??

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