Disney's Bob Iger lays out plans for Fox and streaming

Disney won the battle to purchase most of 21st Century Fox. Now it's getting ready to fight the streaming wa...

Posted: Aug 8, 2018 9:13 AM
Updated: Aug 8, 2018 9:13 AM

Disney won the battle to purchase most of 21st Century Fox. Now it's getting ready to fight the streaming wars.

Disney CEO Bob Iger on Tuesday outlined some of his plans for Fox's assets during the company's first quarterly call since shareholders approved the $71.3 billion deal last month.

One thing is clear: Disney will be giving more resources to its shiny new prize. And it expects the Fox content to play heavily into its plans to compete with other streaming services like Netflix.

Once Disney closes the Fox deal — it still needs to gain approval from international regulators — it will inherit Fox's movie studio, including its "Avatar" and "X-Men" franchises, as well as the Fox Searchlight division, which is responsible for the studio's most prestigious films.

Disney will also get the FX and National Geographic channels, as well as Fox's stake in the streaming service Hulu, giving it majority ownership. (Comcast and AT&T collectively own 40% of Hulu. AT&T also owns CNN.)

That's a lot of extra content for a company that already has ambitious streaming plans.

Earlier this year, Disney launched ESPN+, its first streaming platform. Next year, it plans to debut a family-friendly service that will feature shows and movies from its Pixar, Marvel, Disney and Star Wars libraries. Iger said that Fox brings "even more opportunity to create original programming" for that platform, too.

Iger said Tuesday that he doesn't see the need to combine all of that content into one package. Instead, Disney will have three options for customers: sports with ESPN, family-friendly with Disney, and Hulu, which now appeals to a more general audience.

"They will basically be designed to attract different tastes and different segment or audience demographics," Iger told investors. He added that Disney could potentially package all three together if there is demand.

The highly anticipated Disney service is widely expected to be a competitor to Netflix when it launches next year. But don't expect it to have as many programs available at launch.

"We feel that it does not have to have anything close to the volume of what Netflix has because of the value of the brands and the specific value of the programs that will be included on it," Iger said, adding that the price will also reflect the smaller library.

Related: Comcast increases its offer for Sky

Iger's lofty goals for the company were laid out during an otherwise muted quarter for Disney. The company failed to meet Wall Street's expectations on earnings and revenue, sending the stock down as much as 2% after hours.

Trip Miller, a Disney shareholder and managing partner at Gullane Capital Partners, told CNNMoney before the call that he's hopeful for Disney's efforts right now. The mix of family, adult and sports content should help the company diversify.

"If you are competing against Netflix, and that's the target, Netflix doesn't have sports, they don't have the content — obviously Disney's pulling away from Netflix in the coming year, which hurts on the family side," Miller said.

Iger declined to discuss Sky, the company's other takeover target. The European broadcaster is a leader in pay TV in the United Kingdom and other markets, including Germany and Italy, and could help Disney expand its footprint abroad.

Disney hasn't bid directly on that company. Its efforts so far have been unfolding by proxy through Fox, which has agreed that it would sell the company to Disney if it succeeds in its takeover bid.

The companies had until the end of Thursday to take action on Sky. Comcast has already offered £26 billion ($34 billion), the highest offer. On Tuesday afternoon, Fox formalized a previous offer it made for Sky of £24.5 billion, or about $32.5 billion. That effectively extends the deadline it has to top Comcast's bid until September 22.

Winning would be a big deal for Comcast, which tried to buy most of Fox but lost out to Disney.

During a call with investors last month, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said his company is "focused" on Sky.

"We think it's a great business," he added. "We think it's a great business, it will fit well, good use of capital. It's also unique."

Disney isn't the only big name on this week's earnings agenda. Fox will also discuss earnings, and the Sky bid could be top of mind during that call, too.

But when analysts question Fox executives Wednesday afternoon, they might also be interested in what will happen to the company once it downsizes. The "new Fox" will include Fox News, the Fox broadcast network, FS1 and FS2.

Fox has already been laying the groundwork for that new company. Executives have spent much of this year snapping up the rights to broadcast franchises like "WWE Smackdown" and Thursday night NFL games.

Related: The new Fox will be a sports and entertainment hub

Another big media name reports Thursday: Viacom, the parent company of MTV, Nickelodeon and Paramount.

The company has been touting its turnaround effort for months, and will likely focus on that during the call. But observers will also keep a close ear on anything CEO Bob Bakish might say about its corporate cousin, CBS.

CBS chief Les Moonves faces accusations of sexual harassment, casting his future in doubt. CBS has hired two law firms to investigate the claims.

Related: Les Moonves avoids sexual harassment allegations during CBS earnings call

Meanwhile, CBS is locked in a legal battle with Shari Redstone, the majority owner of both CBS and Viacom. CBS is trying to lessen Redstone's control over the company after she pushed the two businesses to merge earlier this year.

Whatever happens to Moonves and CBS could have big implications for Viacom and Bakish. Redstone favors Bakish, and wanted him in a top executive position at a merged CBS-Viacom.

If Moonves is ousted, some analysts think the chance of a merger shoots back up again. And that could give Bakish an even higher profile.

West Lafayette
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 75°
Kokomo
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 73°
Rensselaer
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 72°
Fowler
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 72°
Williamsport
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 71°
Crawfordsville
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 67°
Frankfort
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 72°
Delphi
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 73°
Monticello
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 73°
Logansport
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 72°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 50300

Reported Deaths: 2748
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11920692
Lake5432248
Elkhart347058
Allen2902133
St. Joseph205169
Hamilton1665101
Cass16449
Hendricks1446100
Johnson1325118
Porter80238
Tippecanoe7599
Clark68144
Vanderburgh6816
Madison67264
LaPorte60527
Howard59458
Bartholomew59345
Kosciusko5704
Marshall5308
Noble50128
LaGrange4829
Jackson4783
Boone47444
Delaware46952
Hancock46036
Shelby43525
Floyd40444
Morgan33631
Monroe32928
Grant30926
Dubois2976
Henry29717
Montgomery29720
Clinton2893
White26810
Decatur25532
Dearborn25423
Lawrence25225
Vigo2478
Warrick24329
Harrison21722
Greene19332
Miami1922
Jennings17912
Putnam1728
DeKalb1674
Scott1639
Wayne1536
Daviess15017
Perry1459
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1332
Franklin1278
Ripley1277
Wabash1152
Carroll1132
Gibson1132
Fayette1057
Whitley1045
Newton10010
Starke983
Huntington932
Randolph794
Wells791
Jefferson782
Fulton731
Jay680
Washington681
Knox670
Clay665
Pulaski661
Rush613
Posey550
Owen521
Benton510
Spencer501
Adams491
Sullivan471
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Tipton321
Switzerland300
Martin240
Parke230
Ohio220
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union130
Pike110
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events