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If Disney Buys Fox’s Assets, It Could Own ‘The Simpsons’

A new report on Bloomberg says that a Disney-21st Century Fox deal could be coming within days.

As we’ve covered earlier, the $50-60 billion dollar deal would dramatically alter landscape of the American entertainment industry, giving the Walt Disney Company control of most of Fox’s entertainment assets. The iconic Fox series The Simpsons would be a part of that deal, as pointed out by Bloomberg.

But over the long term, the deal could ultimately end up working in favor of Fox executive chairman Rupert Murdoch and his family. Should Disney purchase Fox through a stock-based deal, it would give the Murdochs a 5% stake in Disney, making them the company’s largest shareholders.

Further, Bloomberg reports that Murdoch’s son, Fox chief executive officer James Murdoch, would “likely” be offered a senior management position at Disney, thereby becoming a key candidate to take over the entire Disney operation when current Disney CEO Bob Iger retires. Iger is currently set to step down in 2019, though that date is likely to be pushed back if the Fox deal goes through.

Artwork at top by @deladeso.

  • James Wiseman

    What about their broadcast TV networks? Wouldn’t FCC regulations require the new Fox-Disney company to sell off either ABC or Fox?

  • Marc Hendry

    The Murdochs are awful, and the last thing our culture needs is more of their influence.
    Although maybe the current major shareholders are just as bad, and I just don’t know who they are

    • Barrett

      Exactly. Any deal to buy Fox should come with the condition that the Murdoch family be phased out of any leadership role. Fox News has helped to tear this nation apart, and Murdoch is perhaps an even more diabolical foreign meddler than Putin. Letting him touch Disney is a disgrace. If anything, Disney should take control of Fox.

  • Cale

    You think maybe they might do TV Shows on Disney XD based off Blue Sky’s works?

  • Capital_7

    I think Disney knows better than to install one of the heads of Fox as their CEO. Screw those Murdoch creeps.

  • The Pug Lover

    Look, I do not want Disney to buy 20th Century Fox, but I want it to split into two so Fox can own The Simpsons, and Disney can own Avatar, Star Wars, and the Marvel properties. Also, Disney owns Fox Children’s Television.

  • My name is Rio

    The Flanders will have their day under the sun once Disney owns the simpsons.

    • Polecat

      Now that you said that, I can easily picture Ned laughing with joy.

      I hope they don’t mess with continuity and backstory like they did once they got ahold of “Doug.” Otherwise, Maude might be resurrected from the dead…which would also be to Ned’s liking, technically, although somewhat ahead of theological schedule.

      • Barrett

        Ugh, the Simpsons are so far gone at this point, I’m almost Ok with letting the entire series go all “Halloween Episode” and just abandoning any attempt at maintaining a continuity. The *real* Simpsons were from the late 80s until approx. 2000-01 or so, though there were a few highlights here or there between maybe ’05-’11, including the movie.

  • Split Loafer

    Disney owning The Simpsons is a lot less weird than Murdoch making money of both The Simpsons and Fox News.

    • Nobody

      “weird” nothing. Murdoch owning diametrically opposed ideological properties is the means to profit from all ends.

      He also owns the pro-evolution & eco-centric National Geographic.

      we’re all puppets to this asshole.

      • Matthew

        ME: Stop watching THE SIMPSONS! You’re helping Rupert Murdoch!

        GLASSY-EYED PERSON #1: But you told us to watch it.

        GLASSY-EYED PERSON #2: You said it was the greatest show ever.

        ME: No, no, I only meant the 1990s episodes, not the current ones! You’re still helping evil people!

  • Doconnor

    I read they are planning to announce on Thursday, which is when Star Wars is opening. Perhaps they will announce that the Fox fanfare will be used in the movie.

  • Polecat

    It really does sound like a terrible deal creatively speaking, and I get leery about deals that veer too far into anti-trust territory, but there are two key facts that might cause hope even if this deal does go through:
    1) “The Simpsons” is Fox’s golden goose, and possibly their most reliable TV property. I mean, it’s the longest-running animated series ever, isn’t it? That’s probably a significant part of the attraction for Disney in the first place. Bart Simpson is just as iconic as Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny at this point, and almost as heavily merchandised.
    2) Disney is no stranger to making money off of edgy material while trying hard to maintain its “official” family-friendly image. This is the company that owned Touchstone and Miramax, after all. At one time, they technically owned the rights to “The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover.” I don’t know that they’ll be averse to taking on a show that doesn’t exactly scream “goody two shoes,” as long as it retains the Fox imprint for branding purposes. I do worry about how some of the humor will be handled…but I’m more worried about political humor, trenchant satire, potential libel, etc. being stifled rather than sexual or drug-oriented stuff.

  • Tony

    Does this mean Anastasia will be added to the Disney Princesses line?

    Also, Disney is going to own a Ralph Bakshi film (Wizards), a Russ Meyers film (Beyond the Valley of the Dolls), Idiocracy and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Not to mention the Die Hard series and most of Mel Brooks’ films. It boggles the mind.

    • Polecat

      It’s more terrifying when you put it that way.

    • Mack

      The purchase would also bring Chris Sanders back to Disney. He’s currently directing Call of the Wild for Fox.

  • Person with a question

    So…..why Fox doing this? Are they really in that much trouble financially? I thought they were doing well.
    I tried to do my research but all any articles talk about is the deal itself and not why Fox needs to merge or be sold.

    • Dylancaufield1

      Seems to be that they want to focus on News and Sports.

  • anon

    About 6 years ago, Rupert Murdoch visited Blue Sky. Everyone was excited to see a living oligarch. But we heard rumors of why he was really there: He was interested in producing some sort of interactive history textbooks for kids. Creepy.

    I wonder what special projects he’d find for himself, given access to the vast Disney empire?

    • Barrett

      I’m hoping ol’ Rupert kicks the bucket before any of this can be fully implemented. The man is a pox upon humanity.

  • Alex Hartsell

    Well if Disney buys The Simpsons, I would ride The Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios Park as many times as you can. Also they may replace The Simpsons Ride and Springfield area with that Dragon Ball Z ride and Shonen Jump area from Japan which could get a truck loud of anime and manga fans to the parks in California and Florida. Also since they are building Nintendo land as well those parks are going be crawling with us American Otakus.

  • baxtus


  • Inkan1969

    I’m disappointed to hear that this merger is apparently going through. I was hoping ant-trust laws would prevent it.