Disney Resumes Talks to Buy Bulk of Fox Film and Television Divisions

The two studios reportedly called off talks earlier this year

Nearly a month after preliminary talks momentarily took place, Disney has resumed negotiations with Fox to purchase some of the Murdoch company’s key film and TV assets, according to media reports.

The Wall Street Journal and New York Times reported Sunday that the potential deal would involve 20th Century Fox’s TV and movie studios, as well as Fox’s holdings in U.K. TV provider Sky and several U.S. cable networks. Fox’s flagship TV network would not be included in any deal, nor would Fox News and Fox Sports.

The talks come as Disney prepares to launch two new streaming services, one built around sports programming from ESPN, and the other around TV and movie properties from Walt Disney Studios and other companies under Disney’s umbrella like ABC, Freeform, Pixar and Lucasfilm.

A deal with Fox would give Disney additional content for the latter as media companies race to stake their claim on content to promote their own streaming services. The Disney streaming service will put the company head-to-head with Netflix, which will lose streaming rights to Disney shows and movies.

But the possibility of a deal also comes as the Justice Department has moved to sue AT&T to block its planned acquisition of Time Warner, arguing that it would give the company too much control over content creation and distribution. It remains to be seen how the Trump administration would view a a deal that would give Disney similarly large market power.

If a deal is reached and the Justice Department approves, Disney could gain control of a vast content library that includes property adjacent to some of the mouse house’s biggest earners.

Among other intellectual property, Fox owns distribution rights for “Star Wars: A New Hope,” and holds film rights to the “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four” franchises from Marvel. Those titles remain the last major Marvel comic book characters whose film rights are not currently owned by Disney and Marvel Studios.

Representatives for Disney and Fox did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s requests for comment.