Disney starts debranding Fox assets

Disney has begun to phase out the Fox brand from its recently acquired assets. But a decision about removing Fox from its TV business is still pending.

As part of the move, revealed late on Friday UK time, the two film studios Disney acquired as part of its deal to take over 21st Century Fox will have the Fox brand expunged from their names:

20th Century Fox will become 20th Century Studios and Fox Searchlight Pictures will be shorted to just Searchlight Pictures, according to US website Variety.

But no consensus has emerged over renaming the TV business, which includes 20th Century Fox Television and Fox 21 Television Studios.

There's also no news yet on the long-term branding of the Disney-owned Fox Networks Group and its Fox-branded channel in the UK and other countries, now under different ownership to the US network of the same name.

Reports from the USA suggest Disney is trying to distance itself from the Fox brand built up under the Murdoch media empire and its connotations, especially given that the Fox name continues on services not included in the assets sold by Murdoch to Disney - including Fox News. This means Disney doesn't and can't have full control over the use of the Fox name in the media.