Alright, blah blah blah, Disney just bought like all of Rupert Murdoch's empire except for FOX News and FOX Sports 1. Got that part out of the way? Great.
So what does this mean?
Well, since this is a sports board, lets keep it about sports, first. Disney, who also owns ESPN just acquired the biggest regional sports network in the country, and its nearly inevitable that you'll eventually see that rebranded under the mothership's brand and offered as part of the WatchESPN functionality. Games that would have appeared on Fox Sports Net, of which we have many in both football and basketball, would now theoretically be part of the overall ACC Network where there would be no blackout rules in place. This should also, in part, help simplify any issues with the bringing up the dedicated ACC Network, with the possibility it leverages, in part, some of this existing regional network nationwide to make it happen.
But other than sports, what does it mean.
Well, now Disney owns FX, FXX, and Fox's movie studios. Many people are freaking out because Disney is so family friendly and they're going to absolutely ruin the edgy shows on FX and FXX, but I don't see it. You don't buy something successful like that and then screw it up. If anything, they'll rebrand those networks as something else, like how Miramar was part of Disney when Die Hard came out, and continue as is. But absolutely worth keeping your eye on, because there is definitely the possibility established brands like Always Sunny or The Americans could see a fundamental shift going forward.
How does this impact streaming capabilities?
Disney has been very vocal about their intentions of having a massive streaming network that rivals Netflix and Amazon in the near future, which is a major reason they've been letting all their agreements with Netflix expire over the past year. Fox owns Hulu. So now Hulu is a Disney property. Problem solved.
But seriously, this was about Marvel's franchise being split in two, right?
That's a bingo. While Disney owns a vast majority of the Marvel enterprise with its massively popular Avengers series, there was always a glaring hole, because 21st Century Fox owned the X-Men and Fantastic Four. This move allows those properties to be brought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe for use in future films. There has been a lot of secrecy surrounding the 2nd installment of Infinity War, and there have long been rumors a major part of this secrecy was because there were plans to leverage this merge in that movie. This also allows Phase IV to take on a completely new path now that the broad use of the Marvel brand will be allowed. At this point, pretty much the only outliers are The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man, who are still owned by Paramount and Universal, but have been allowed to participate in those movies. Might be easier to stomach keeping those deals in place now that they don't have to worry about Fox anymore.
Its Star Wars week, any potential implications there?
You know what, there damn well is! Do you absolutely loathe the early 2000s remakes of the original films and just wish you could watch the original trilogy in remastered HD without all the Lucasfilm bullshit? You're in luck, because guess who owned the original theatrical releases? Yup, Fox. So I would very much expect some kind of reworking of the original films to come out again in the coming years to continue tapping into Star Wars hysteria.