What Companies Do 21st Century Fox Own: A Quick Guide to Its Subsidiaries

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21st Century Fox established itself as a leader in the entertainment industry with a vast array of media and entertainment properties. Originally a part of News Corporation, 21st Century Fox was formed when the larger media conglomerate split into two separate entities. This division aimed to streamline operations and focus more acutely on film and television. The legacy of 21st Century Fox and its ownership of various companies is significant, as it held some of the most popular and lucrative franchises in the entertainment world.

The impact of 21st Century Fox spanned across the global market, influencing mainstream media, the dynamics of the industry, and popular culture. However, one event that significantly reshaped its trajectory was its acquisition by The Walt Disney Company. This acquisition not only transformed the media landscape but also altered the ownership structure of 21st Century Fox’s assets. Key franchises and properties once under the 21st Century Fox umbrella became part of Disney’s expansive portfolio, bringing about considerable change in entertainment offerings and business operations.

Key Takeaways

  • 21st Century Fox was an influential entity in the media landscape with a focus on film and TV.
  • The company’s acquisition by Disney markedly changed its structure and the ownership of its assets.
  • 21st Century Fox played a pivotal role in shaping global media and popular culture.

Company Overview

21st Century Fox, prior to its acquisition by Disney, was a titan in the global media and entertainment industry. They were known for operating a vast array of assets across various platforms, including film, television, cable, and broadcasting.

Film and Television Studios:

  • 20th Century Fox: A leading name in the film industry with a rich history of cinema.
  • Television Groups: Included the production of popular TV programs.

Cable Networks:

  • FX Networks: Offered an array of original series and movies.
  • National Geographic Partners: An educational and scientific resource with global recognition.

In addition to their entertainment portfolio, the company’s influence extended to cable and broadcasting networks worldwide, with a focus on delivering diverse content to a broad audience. The footprint of 21st Century Fox was deeply etched into the fabric of modern entertainment, influencing what and how content was consumed across the world.

The transaction with Disney reshaped the landscape, with major assets transferred to The Walt Disney Company, while other parts of the business were spun off into the Fox Corporation. Notably, 21st Century Fox agreed to sell the company to Disney, creating significant shifts in the media arena.

Their legacy in shaping the entertainment industry is undeniable, with their influence permeating through various aspects of media consumption. Despite changes over time, the impact of 21st Century Fox’s creativity and innovation in entertainment continues to resonate.

History of 21st Century Fox


21st Century Fox has been a significant player in the global entertainment industry, known for its array of entertainment assets and major acquisitions, all initiated by the vision of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.

Formation of 21st Century Fox

The company known as 21st Century Fox was formed through a reorganization in 2013 when News Corporation restructured and split its business into two distinct entities. The split was designed to separate News Corporation’s entertainment properties from its publishing assets. This strategic move crafted a new identity for 21st Century Fox, focusing on film, television, satellite broadcasting, and other multimedia outlets.

Major Acquisitions

Throughout its existence, 21st Century Fox expanded through targeted acquisitions that bolstered its position in the entertainment industry. An important phase in the company’s growth was the purchase of various television and cable properties, which significantly increased its footprint in broadcasting. The media conglomerate’s portfolio at various points included prominent channels and studios such as FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, and the film production powerhouse 20th Century Fox.

In a transformative deal for the media landscape, The Walt Disney Company announced its intent to acquire the motion picture, cable entertainment, and direct broadcast satellite divisions of 21st Century Fox in December 2017. This acquisition, which includes entities like 20th Century Fox, was completed in March 2019 and marked a significant change in the ownership of Murdoch’s entertainment assets, as well as in the broader arena of global media and entertainment.

The Walt Disney Company Acquisition


In a landmark deal, The Walt Disney Company completed its acquisition of 21st Century Fox. 21st Century Fox was once a titan of the entertainment industry, with a vast range of media assets under its banner. The merger, valued at an astounding $71.3 billion, reshaped the media landscape, bringing a significant portion of the entertainment assets into Disney’s fold.

Disney’s acquisition was meticulously scrutinized and ultimately approved by the Department of Justice under the condition that it sold off certain regional sports networks. This ensured a level of competitiveness in the sports broadcasting arena post-merger.

Following the deal, Disney now controls an even wider array of entertainment assets. These include the “X-Men,” “Fantastic Four,” and “Deadpool” film franchises, which can now potentially be integrated with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Additionally, iconic television shows such as “The Simpsons” became part of Disney’s expansive entertainment library.

By acquiring these assets, The Walt Disney Company has bolstered its position as a leading media conglomerate, vastly expanding its footprint in the entertainment industry.

Key Components of the Acquisition
Assets Included
– Film and TV Studios
– Cable Entertainment Networks
– International TV Businesses
– $71.3 billion in stock and cash
Regulatory Approval
– Conditional nod from the Department of Justice
Notable Exclusions
– Fox News
– Fox Sports

The acquisition deal has set a precedent for future mergers and acquisitions within the media sector, showing the growing consolidation trend as companies strive to compete with the rise of streaming platforms.

21st Century Fox Assets

Before its acquisition by Disney, 21st Century Fox was a titan in the entertainment industry with a diverse portfolio covering film, television, and cable networks. Their well-known assets ranged from iconic film studios to popular cable networks, fulfilling a variety of entertainment needs globally.

Film Studios

21st Century Fox’s film studio assets were headlined by the renowned 20th Century Fox film studio, a leader in the movie industry responsible for some of the most significant box office successes. This studio had a massive impact on the film landscape, bringing to audiences a multitude of critically acclaimed films across genres.

Television Stations

The television assets of 21st Century Fox comprised the Fox television network, which included a multitude of local TV stations. This network was essential for broadcasting popular national television programs and significant live sports events, contributing to Fox’s strong presence in television entertainment.

Cable Networks

The cable division boasted a variety of networks, including the widely viewed Fox News and the sports-focused channels like Fox Sports. Other significant contributions included National Geographic Partners, which offered audiences rich, educational content. 21st Century Fox also had a stake in Hulu, an on-demand streaming service that expanded their digital footprint in entertainment media.

Key Franchises and Properties

The acquisition of 21st Century Fox by The Walt Disney Company brought an array of cherished franchises and properties under the Disney umbrella. This expansion included various film and television studios, as well as a vast library of characters and storylines that are beloved by audiences worldwide. Here are some of the key franchises and properties that were included in the acquisition:

  • The Simpsons: As an iconic television series with decades of cultural influence, The Simpsons not only has a prolific library of episodes but also a deep connection with its fans.

  • Marvel: The inclusion of additional Marvel entities, such as X-Men and Fantastic Four, has expanded the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s capabilities, allowing for potential crossovers and new adventures.

  • Avatar: Avatar, known for its groundbreaking visuals and box-office success, is a significant addition to Disney’s portfolio, with sequels in development poised to captivate audiences once again.

  • Star Wars: While Disney had already acquired Star Wars through the purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012, the 21st Century Fox deal included the original trilogy’s distribution rights.

Here is a quick reference list of acquisitions:

Franchise Description
The Simpsons Long-running animated television series
X-Men Superhero franchise with a myriad of characters
Fantastic Four Superhero team with a history of collaboration with X-Men
Avatar Epic science fiction film with several planned sequels
Star Wars Epic space opera with a massive fan base and lore

This expanded universe provides Disney with a remarkable range of creative opportunities, affording them a comprehensive collection of narratives they can continue to build upon.

Business Structure Pre-Merger

Before the historic merger with The Walt Disney Company, 21st Century Fox was a powerhouse in the entertainment and media industry. Their structure consisted of various key players and sectors, under the overarching control of the Murdoch family.

Fox Entertainment Group

Fox Entertainment Group was a primary subsidiary of 21st Century Fox that specialized in film and television production and distribution. This entity oversaw film studios such as 20th Century Fox—known for blockbusters and acclaimed films. It also managed Fox Television Stations, a group of owned-and-operated Fox broadcasting stations across the U.S., forming a significant part of the company’s television assets.

News Corporation

News Corporation, often nicknamed News Corp, was the corporate sibling of 21st Century Fox before the entities split in 2013. Primarily focusing on publishing and other media-related assets, it was spearheaded by Rupert Murdoch. After the split, 21st Century Fox specifically honed in on entertainment and broadcast operations, while Lachlan and James Murdoch played central roles in the company’s strategic and financial decisions. News Corp’s portfolio included a wide range of print and digital media, such as newspapers, book publishing, and online properties.

Post-Merger Changes

After the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney, the media landscape changed significantly. The merger gave rise to a new company known as New Fox, which is officially named Fox Corporation. This entity is distinct from the parts of the former 21st Century Fox that are now owned by Disney.

Fox Corporation focuses on news, sports, and broadcast television. Under its umbrella, the Fox Broadcasting Company continues to operate the Fox television network, known for airing a variety of programming including prime-time television series and sports. In addition to this, the company manages Fox News, a leading cable news network.

Fox Sports 1, a national sports cable channel, remains as part of Fox Corporation, too, and is known for its comprehensive sports programming. However, part of the merger terms involved Disney divesting the Fox Sports Networks, a collection of regional sports channels. As a result, they were sold to other parties to maintain competition in the sports broadcasting market.

The table below outlines the primary focuses of Fox Corporation post-merger:

Entity Focus
Fox Corporation News, Sports, Broadcast TV
Fox Broadcasting Company Network TV Programming
Fox Sports 1 National Sports Broadcasting
Fox Sports Networks Divested Regional Sports

Following the merger, Fox Corporation has streamlined its portfolio, sharpening its focus on news and sports, while Disney has expanded its entertainment and international television assets.

21st Century Fox and the Global Market

21st Century Fox, before its assets were acquired, had a significant presence in global markets, notably within Europe and Asia. Through strategic ownerships aimed to penetrate diverse audiences, the company harnessed variety in its content offerings and distribution platforms.

European Market

In Europe, Sky plc played a central role in 21st Century Fox’s holdings. They had a substantial stake in this satellite broadcasting giant, which reaches millions of homes across the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, and Italy. Sky’s multitude of channels provided European audiences with news, sports, and entertainment, aligning with the local tastes and preferences.

Sky’s influence in these regions, along with tailored content and partnerships with local cable and broadband providers, not only bolstered Fox’s strategic position but also constituted a substantial source of regional revenue and viewership.

Asian Market

Heading East, Star India was a significant part of 21st Century Fox’s Asian market strategy. It is a media conglomerate that reaches a vast audience with its portfolio of more than 50 channels in eight languages, catering to a diverse Indian viewership. Television series, sports, movies, and music offered by Star India were tailored for regional preferences, which drove the company’s popularity and growth in South Asia.

Additionally, Tata Sky—a direct broadcast satellite television provider in India—was another asset in the region. This joint venture expanded the distribution of their media content, including the reach of digital satellite television services to Indian households, further solidifying their presence in this densely populated market.

Legal and Regulatory Challenges


When 21st Century Fox underwent significant merger and acquisition activities, particularly with Disney, they encountered a maze of legal and regulatory challenges. These concerns often involved meticulous scrutiny by various entities like the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which oversee adherence to laws and fair business practices in the United States.

In the UK, where 21st Century Fox also held considerable assets, political factors and regulatory bodies added extra layers of complexity to any major corporate transaction. These entities aimed to ensure that any deal would not stifle competition or negatively impact consumers.

Here’s a quick breakdown of common challenges faced:

  • Antitrust issues: The Justice Department examines any potential creation of monopolies, which can lead to legal hurdles.
  • Shareholder approval: Transactions of this magnitude require a green light from shareholders, who may file a lawsuit if they feel a deal undervalues their shares or if they disagree with the strategic direction.
  • Regulatory approvals: Beyond the U.S., global deals need approval from international regulators, which means compliance with a diverse set of laws and regulations.

Throughout the process, companies must also engage in clear and honest communication to satisfy SEC requirements, ensuring that all shareholders are informed and not misled about the details and implications of any merger. Additionally, they often have to navigate through politically charged environments, where decisions can be influenced by current politics and public opinion.

21st Century Fox has had to deftly manage these legal and regulatory challenges to ensure successful outcomes for their high-profile moves in the entertainment industry.

Leadership and Impact


21st Century Fox has been a major player in the media industry, with its leadership and strategic decisions significantly affecting its revenue and equity. The company’s trajectory has been greatly influenced by its leadership structure and political maneuvering within and around the Murdoch family.

Rupert Murdoch’s Role

As the patriarch and figurehead, Rupert Murdoch has been instrumental in shaping the company’s direction. Under his stewardship, 21st Century Fox’s bold strategies often reflected his personal business philosophy. Murdoch’s impact is evident in the company’s aggressive expansion and forays into various media sectors, which have substantially increased revenue and total equity. His ability to navigate the political landscape has also been a key factor in the company’s global influence.

Murdoch Family Influence

The Murdoch family’s influence extends beyond Rupert Murdoch, with his children playing significant roles in the governance and strategic direction of 21st Century Fox. The family’s majority stake through a complex trust structure allows them considerable sway over the company’s affairs. This control has at times attracted both scrutiny and admiration, underscoring their impact on the media and political domains. The leadership of the Murdoch family is a testament to their enduring legacy in shaping media and public opinion worldwide.

Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding the intricacies of media conglomerates can be complex; this section aims to clarify the structure and holdings of 21st Century Fox.

What are the major media properties operated by 21st Century Fox?

21st Century Fox managed a range of television, film, and cable entities, including the famed film production studios 20th Century Fox and television networks like Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Television Stations, and others.

Can you list the subsidiaries that fall under the 21st Century Fox umbrella?

Yes, 21st Century Fox’s umbrella included various subsidiaries such as Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Fox Networks Group, and Fox Entertainment Group, among others.

What is the relationship between 21st Century Fox and Fox News?

Fox News was a part of 21st Century Fox until the major reorganization in 2019, when Fox News was spun off into the newly formed Fox Corporation as part of a larger deal with The Walt Disney Company.

Has Disney acquired 21st Century Fox, and if so, what does that include?

The Walt Disney Company acquired most of 21st Century Fox’s assets, which includes its film studio and many of its television assets, in a historic deal valued at approximately $71.3 billion.

Are there any connections between 21st Century Fox and other major television networks like ABC?

Following the acquisition by Disney, 21st Century Fox and ABC do not have a direct connection as ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and remained so after the acquisition.

After Disney’s acquisition, which parts of the Fox corporation did they not purchase?

After the acquisition, The Walt Disney Company did not purchase the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News, Fox Business, FS1, FS2, and the Big Ten Network. These were spun off to the shareholders of Fox Corporation.