How fast things can change. In 2019 Disney Entertainment was a colossus that bestrode the world. The world’s very best amusement parks. Movies that made billions. Two massively successful streaming services. The premier sports reporting network. The planet’s two biggest movie franchises were both wholly (for the most part) owned by Disney. *
Two and a half months into 2020 and Disney Entertainment has a 40% chance of going into bankruptcy by the end of the year.
I admit that I was speculating wildly as to why Bob Iger was no longer CEO of Disney. I was certain that he hadn’t left voluntarily. And I was sort of right about that, where I was wrong was in thinking that he had lost a boardroom revolt. It wasn’t that it was just a head-on collision with a dark future.
I suspect that he got a private briefing regarding upcoming response plans for the Wuhan Virus. and he realized that in three weeks his multi-billion dollar corporation would have it’s biggest sources of income cutoff. He wasn’t up for it. He couldn’t handle it. So, he quit.
So what is in the tea leaves for Disney?
One, I suspect Marvel Comics is going to be shutdown. It was a hobby/money-loser for Bob Iger. He could tolerate it because Woke Marvel gave him cool points on the cocktail party circuit.
But as of now, there are no sales outlets for Marvel Comics other than E-books (and direct mail of all things). Marvel has gone from a money loser to a complete money loser and “Budget-Cut Bob Cheapak,” is the new CEO of Disney. Look for Marvel Comics to be shutdown in the next month. When it revives it will be as a franchise that is farmed out to a third party provider.
Two, EPCOT in Disney World may take a serious hit. It was already mostly closed for renovations but that money has most likely been re-earmarked for survival. It may be shut for a year.
Quality is going to take a hit all over the parks due to budget cuts, personal loss and sub-quality third party providers of services.
Three, these first two things assume that Disney is not going to declare bankruptcy. If Disney Entertainment does declare bankruptcy then there is the very real possibility of an acquisition by Apple.
That one billion dollar fine they just got from Europe is a nuisance to be sure but Apple is going to shrug it off. It will only come out of petty cash because they are sitting on billions. Apple stock doesn’t pay dividends so they are sitting on quite the cash dump.
There was a rumor (very likely true) that Apple was going to try and buy Sony Pictures from Sony. But why pick one dish when you can buy the whole buffet?
For the benefit of you new readers who want to know why Apple would want such a thing, I shall now quote myself:
“Apple is getting into the streaming business big time. Naturally, they want to be able to produce original content. Today it’s an absolute…indeed, a dire necessity. At one time, back when Steve Jobs walked the land of the living, Apple had close relations with Pixar and then, naturally, Disney. However, there is no such thing as a friendly competitor in Disney’s Universe.
There is no way in hell they would produce original content for Apple TV. No major studio will. Which means one of two things Apple has to either build up their own content production, much like Amazon did (and frankly the time to do that was 2010.) Or buy a studio.
There aren’t too many of those available at this point. The fire sales ended about three years ago. At this point all of the studios are owned by somebody big. So, Apple will have to forget about it.
I then went on to make the case for Apple buying Sony Pictures. And while those reasons still hold true, Disney might be the bargain of the century by June 1st.
Bear in mind this is just speculation but the relationship between these two companies is an unusually close one.
As a reminder, the last owner of Pixar was this guy.
Also, you have to remember that Disney didn’t really buy Pixar, it was definitely closer to a merger. You can tell that by fact that it was Disney employees that got the ax after the ink was dry, not the other way around. Steve Jobs became a behind the scenes figure at Disney and Bob Iger joined the Apple BOD for eight years. If you want a “genuine” Disney phone case then you are going to be disappointed if you don’t have an iPhone because that is all that Disney carries. **
Now there is one possible objection which would be from the US government. But if it’s timed right the Fed may have to green light it just to save Disney.
Apple buying Disney would pretty much cement Disney as an SJW company but maybe all of this speculation will come to nothing.
Time will tell.
Okay, I’m done here.
*Even if they were fucking up one of them.
**At least as of two years ago. I don’t think that has changed.