Disney CEO Bob Iger has shed more light on why the company went through its historic 21st Century Fox buyout.
Speaking with CNBC, Iger confirmed that the $71 billion purchase was more about the upcoming streaming platform Disney+ than bringing Deadpool, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“What could it mean having access to [Fox’s] library, not to monetize it through traditional means, but to do it through this?” Iger said, referring to Disney's upcoming Disney+ streaming service. “Bam! I mean, the light bulb went off.”
This comes as little surprise given Disney's plans to integrate its Fox family into its yet-to-be-released streaming platform as well as Hulu- which Disney is in the process of gaining 70% ownership of.
“We would not have done that transaction had we not decided to go in this direction," he added. "If we hadn’t, we would have been looking at that business and through a traditional lens: ‘Oh, we’re buying TV channels. We’re buying more movie-making capability, et cetera.'"
Even for a a conglomerate that regularly procures ubiquitous media outlets, the Disney-21st Century Fox merger brings a dizzying amount of titles together. At Disney's annual investors conference last week, Disney confirmed that some major former Fox properties will be a big part of Disney+.
“By the time the acquisition opportunity came up," Iger continued. "We knew we were going in this space, we evaluated what we were buying through this new lens of: ‘Wow, what could National Geographic mean to us?’”
In addition to new Star Wars and Marvel series, the service will be the exclusive streaming home of about 700 episodes of The Simpsons, along with other family-friendly Fox-produced shows like Malcolm in the Middle.
Disney+ makes it long-awaited debut on Nov. 12.