The announcement takes two media and entertainments titans and, after a period of negotiating chess, divides up territory between them. Iger will lead the legacy-entertainment charge against a slew of new competitors, while Murdoch will attempt to fend off the challenge on another front, as the business of news and live events face challenges from digital upstarts.
Each side sought to paint their business as stronger because of the moves.
“The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from 21st Century Fox reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before,” Iger said in a statement Thursday morning. “We’re excited about this extraordinary opportunity to significantly increase our portfolio of well-loved franchises and branded content to greatly enhance our growing direct-to-consumer offerings.”
“The new Fox will draw upon the powerful live news and sports businesses of Fox, as well as the strength of our broadcast network,” said Murdoch. “It is born out of an important lesson I’ve learned in my long career in media: namely, content and news relevant to viewers will always be valuable.”
In the call, Iger alluded to that past, saying he was a “product” of that merger, which would in turn make him “respect and appreciate the talent” that came with the acquisition.