The Walt Disney Company is more than just The Disney Channel and theme parks. Disney has put together an amazing portfolio tat has catapulted them to success in a variety of industries. The diversity of the company’s success as well as their monopoly over film, tv and streaming has secured their success. Let’s take a look at some of the companies you may not know Disney has a hand in.
Touchstone pictures is a defunct production company that was actually created by The Walt Disney Company. Disney created Touchstone and never marketed it as part of Disney as the studio was intended to distribute films targeted at a more mature audience. The company was established in 1984 and released films like Turner and Hooch, Coyote Ugly, Con Air, Sweet Home Alabama, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Pretty Woman.
Touchstone Pictures was rebranded as Dreamworks in 2009 and it remained with The Walt Disney Company until 2016 when Universal Pictures took over the company.
When Disney took control of 21st Century Fox in 2019 for $71 billion, it also included additional Fox assets like FX meaning that Disney now owns Fox’s productions including “The Americans,” and “Modern Family.”
Fox Sports Network
Disney did own Fox Sports Network for a very short period of time. Fox Sports Network and all of their affiliates were part of the Disney acquisition of 21st Century Fox in 2019. However, one of the conditions of the acquisition was that Disney sell all of the regional networks that they acquired in this deal mere months after the deal was finalized. Disney ended up selling them to Sinclair in August 2019.
The US Department of Justice insisted on the sell of the Fox Network affiliates to a company not owned by Disney due to the fact that Disney already owns ESPN and it would have resulted in too much conentration of ownership by Disney in this market.
Disney acquired Baby TV as part of the acquisition of 21st Century Fox in 2019. Baby TV is an internationaly viewable network with programs directed as babies and toddlers. The network debured in 2003 and is now viewable in over 100 countries and in 18 languages.
Disney has a hand in GoPro via Steamboat Ventures. Steamboat Ventures, named after Steamboat Willie is an investment company. The company sank an undisclosed amount of money into GoPro in 2013 getting in on the groundfloor of this innovative adventure filming method.
Hulu is a joint venture of Disney and Comcast. The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu and that is why there is a Disney+ bundle that includes ESPN and Hulu. Interestingly enough, Comcast owns NBC Universal muddying the waters of this partnership as Comcast is a direct competitor of Disney in many ventures. In 2019, Comcast agreed to sell Disney their stake in Hulu but the deal won’t finalize until 2024.
Disney’s ownership of Hulu will work like many other Disney companies where Disney will separate itself from the Hulu brand and Hulu will house more of the adult content that Disney has acquired over the years.
Disney owns 50% of A&E networks with the other 50% controlled by Hearst Communications. Disney acquired A&E in 2012 but in 2018, when Disney was in talks to acquire 21st Century Fox, they had to sell some of their european entities held under A&E due to the European Commission which determined that with the acquisition of Fox, Disney would monopolize too much of the market. This means that Disney owns LivePD; wow.
Lifetime is a subsidiary of A&E and although Disney sold off many of their European A&E entities, they still own them in the United States and this includes Lifetime and several other channels held under A&E.
Vice was a subsidiary of A&E and Fox which as we have now established is owned by Disney. Disney owns a 26% stake of Vice media along with Hearst Communications. Disney sank more than $400 million into Vice Media, an investment that in 2019 they now file that investment as a “write-off”.
Founded in 1989 under the guise of Michael Eisner, who was CEO of Disney during that time, this record label houses artists such as Demi Lovato, Sofia Carson, Maddie Poppe, Lucy Hale and Zendaya. This is not Disney’s only record label as they also own Walt Disney Records. Disney separates itself brand wise from Hollywood Records as this label does allow more “adult” music than the flagship record label.
These are just a few of the companies that Disney owns. Disney has become a powerhouse over the course of the last twenty years mostly under the guise of Bob Iger.
Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.