Disney completes 21st Century Fox deal, Fox Sports spun off into new firm

The Walt Disney Company has completed its acquisition of the majority of 21st Century Fox’s assets, with the remainder – including Fox Sports – now spun off into a new company, the Fox Corporation.

Disney closed its $71bn (€63bn) acquisition of Fox’s media assets yesterday, absorbing the Fox film and TV studios, the FX networks, National Geographic, and Indian broadcaster Star India.

Before the deal closed on March 19, 21st Century Fox completed the spin-off of a portfolio of its business units, including Fox Sports and Fox Deportes, into the new publicly-traded entity.

This came with the appointment of several new board members, including former Formula One chief executive Chase Carey. Carey also previously served as president and chief executive of DirecTV.

Disney has also had to offload items to appease regulators in various countries. In the US, this included 22 regional sports channels. One network, New York Yankees’ YES Network, has already been sold for roughly $3.5bn to a group led by the baseball team and including Amazon and the Sinclair Broadcasting Group.

National regulators have also ordered Disney to offload Fox Sports channels in Brazil and Mexico, along with associated media rights for all these channels, due to the Disney’s ownership of ESPN, which also operates sports channels in those countries.