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Cramer: The Disney-21st Century Fox deal gets rid of 'the ESPN problem'

  • Disney's planned deal to acquire many parts of Twenty-First Century Fox actually solves its problems with ESPN, CNBC's Jim Cramer says.
  • "This is a subscriber story and we've had subscriber growth go down, which was ESPN," he says.

Disney's planned deal to acquire many parts of Twenty-First Century Fox actually solves the media giant's problems with sports network ESPN, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Thursday.

Disney has suffered from some subscriber losses at ESPN as consumers switch to skinnier cable bundles. The company intends to launch a separate streaming service for ESPN in 2018.

"It gets rid of the ESPN problem," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street." "This is a subscriber story and we've had subscriber growth go down, which was ESPN. Suddenly, you put all the subscriptions together and they can show up numbers."

The On-Air hosts of ESPN deliver their Monday Night Countdown broadcast before the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the New York Giants in the game at MetLife Stadium on November 14, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Al Pereira | Getty Images
The On-Air hosts of ESPN deliver their Monday Night Countdown broadcast before the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the New York Giants in the game at MetLife Stadium on November 14, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Shares of Disney were more than 2 percent higher Thursday on news of the deal, while Fox was up over 4 percent. The deal will include Fox movie studios, Nat Geo, stakes in Sky and Hulu, and regional sports networks.

Cramer said the reason Disney's stock wasn't even higher is due to antitrust concerns. Antitrust is something "no one can game," he said.

"There is such an antitrust problem here given the fact that we know there's an antitrust problem with AT&T-Time Warner," he said.

"Boy, do I like the deal," added Cramer, host of CNBC's "Mad Money." But "it's just such a wild card."

Cramer continued, "To be consistent they have to examine this deal."

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