Why the Disney-Fox merger is bad for families.
In response to the news of the Disney-Fox merger, the PTC offered a new take on what this new merger would hold for families.
“While Disney’s acquisition of the 21st
Century Fox assets might be good for shareholders and good for corporate ROI, it opens a Pandora’s Box of vexing concerns for parents and families,” said PTC president Tim Winter.
“These concerns include:
- “The merged company will own a much larger number of cable networks, therefore giving the conglomerate even more economic leverage to force its programming into the cable bundle at even higher prices. Sadly for all cable/satellite consumers, price hikes are inevitable.
- “Media conglomerates have trended towards increasing the volume of explicit content on TV shows, and a Disney-Fox merger would be no different. Just look at the fact that Disney will now own FX and FXX – content on which delves into the explicit soft-core porn territory. This is extremely troubling for families. In recent years, only the smaller, independent programmers are filling the huge void by providing safe and uplifting content for families.
- “This merger will allow Disney to extend its model of bundled programming from cable/satellite distribution platforms onto newer and emerging digital media distribution platforms. The digital media platforms were supposed to be the great equalizer and be better for families. But for Disney-Fox, this is about creating a new bundle on a new platform, thereby inhibiting the ability of consumers to choose and pay for only the programming they want.
- “Most importantly, the new digital media bundle that will be created as a result of this merger will bring Disney’s Mickey Mouse and FX’s American Horror Storytogether under one roof where kids will inevitably have access to both the innocent programs meant for them and the extremely graphic and grotesque TV shows that are not. Our recent research on streaming services found that children have easy access to adult content, in part, because parental controls are lax or non-existent. We hope that Disney-Fox will be better in this regard, as its content will range from one extreme to the next, and children deserve to be protected from harmful content.
“We urge the federal regulatory agencies with oversight this Disney-Fox merger – likely DOJ – to make a thorough and careful review to ensure that the unique needs of children and families, and indeed the public overall, are prioritized over the corporate interests,” Winter concluded.