Disney has many fingers in many pies, helping the company to dominate the world of entertainment from many different angles. The Disney brand is so specific that very few people know the extent of Disney’s ownership. Still, the chances are – if you’re engaging with entertainment in the United States, you probably encounter Disney many times a day, regardless of whether you watch any of their cinema or go to their parks. Here’s how
21st Century Fox
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp split in 2013, meaning 21st Century Fox – their global media and entertainment company was up for grabs. Disney looked to buy 21st Century Fox for a while but only closed on the deal in 2019 – it was one that was worth $71 billion. For that extraordinary sum of money, Disney got the companies Twentieth Century Fox Film and TV Studios, the networks FX and National Geographic, the international TV business Star, and 30% of Hulu. Disney also got the rights to some Fox brands, like the Fox Searchlight. This meant Disney was able to offer content that goes beyond that with which they’re typically associated, including the incredibly successful Pixar movies. If you’re wondering which wins out of Disney movies and Pixar, Cash Lady has complied research into who comes out on top.
Disney also has a dominant presence in the NBA. This season is taking place in Florida’s Disney World complex, a privilege the NBA is paying $150 million to afford. Disney also sponsors the Orlando Magic Jersey, as well as helping the Magic with outreach initiatives that benefit the local community and help to make Florida a nicer place to live in. The amount of money that they have put into the sponsorship agreement isn’t known. Still, with basketball players famously having incredible net worth; Michael Jordan is worth over $2 billion, and Tim Duncan is worth $130 million, this won’t be a small amount.
Marvel is an entertainment company that changed the film industry forever with their incredibly successful superhero films. It was a company that was founded in the 1930s but has had a complicated series of name changes and bankruptcies. Everything was looking great, however, when Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment for $4.2 billion in 2009, allowing it to capitalize on The Avengers, Black Panther, and more bestselling films.
Capital Cities merged with ABC in 1985 in a deal worth $3.5 billion. 10 years later, Disney bought their combined company for $19 billion. It was the second-largest corporate takeover ever, allowing Disney to expand from family movies and start to cement their multi-media empire. This allowed Disney to buy and use TV stations, radio stations, some of ESPN, the History Channel, A&E Network, Lifetime Television, and a publishing house.
Disney became the first-ever media company to have a significant influence over movies, cable TV, broadcasting, and even telephone wires, as this deal allowed a partnership with some phone companies. This is a reputation that Disney hasn’t allowed to falter, as they entered the digital streaming age in 2012, competing with paid subscription services by announcing the release of Disney+. It seems like with their other acquisitions, they’ve been preparing to deliver content to a broad audience for decades, but it’s unclear whether streaming will be how their acquisitions come together.