disney buying fox

Industry Maven Contends Disney’s Controversial Business Decision Was the Right One

When you’re as big as the Walt Disney Company, it’s common for every decision and step to be analyzed and studied, and commented on. And when it comes to Disney, especially in the recent years during former Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s tenure. Ever since the CEO was ousted and current Disney CEO Bob Iger returned to take the helm. But recently, many analysts have also questioned some of Iger’s decisions, particularly Disney buying 21st Century Fox Studios.

Bob Iger

Disney CEO Bob Iger / Courtesy of Disney

Related: Investing Legend Casts Doubt On Disney’s Future

While most analysts and even Nelson Peltz have questioned this choice and highlighted the massive debt that Disney has incurred because of the buy, lawyer and former editor of the Hollywood Reporter Matthew Belloni challenges that. Writing for Puck, Belloni asks, “what if Disney’s Fox deal wasn’t so terrible?” arguing that it the decision could make it so Disney might just become the “last studio standing” at Hollywood.

magic kingdom wait times

Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort/Courtesy of Disney

Belloni highlighted the difference that the Fox deal made to Disney+ at the time of it’s launch, even drawing a comparison to Netflix, sharing, “Disney+, a [streaming service] that debuted with exactly one original show… notched 100 million subscribers in just 16 months [thanks to] all that Fox content. By comparison, Netflix needed 10 years and more than $100 billion to cross 100 million subs.” Also, recall that Disney has worked to acquire the rights to a lot of properties, including Marvel, now being able to stream content from the Marvel Cinematic Universe on Disney+.

But it’s not an easy sell. Analyst Doug Creutz argued earlier this week that Disney buying Fox has also impacted the layoffs that Disney just announced, telling the L.A. Times, “[Disney would] be in a much better position, financially, without all of this debt sitting on their balance sheet. And they would not have needed as big of a reorganization.”

the walt disney company

The Walt Disney Company entrance/Courtesy of Disney

While there is a notable downside to the Fox deal, Belloni highlights that many analysts often sidestep the upside of the Fox deal. He shared that Disney doesn’t hold a candle to FX’s quality, and “the 20th Television studio was far more prolific than, say, ABC’s studio, producing different types of shows and selling to multiple buyers.”

Ultimately while there are still cards to be played, perhaps this decision isn’t the worst for Disney after all.

About Priyanka

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago.