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Disney CEO Robert Iger is hoping to expand the Disney empire by acquiring key 21st Century Fox assets for a whopping $52.4 billion.
USA TODAY

Corrections & clarifications: An earlier version of this story misstated which basketball league Fox Sports broadcasts. It is the National Basketball Association.

Now playing: A deal between two U.S. entertainment icons will change what sports you watch at home and even what superheroes battle it out on the big screen. 

The Walt Disney Co. (DIS) is acquiring a collection of 21st Century Fox (FOX) assets put up for sale by Fox’s Murdoch family as it streamlines Fox’s holdings and focuses on the news business.

The $52.4 billion all-stock deal, announced Thursday, will shift some Fox television- and movie-making studios to Disney, as well as rights to some characters from the Marvel comic book universe that Fox now holds.

Such a deal bulks up the kinds of shows Disney can provide viewers over one of its forthcoming streaming networks, essential as Disney gets ready to yank its shows off Netflix in 2019. It also gives Disney a bigger stake in television-streaming service Hulu, and give it part-ownership of an international network to distribute movies like Beauty and the Beast.

And it will likely make it easier for subscribers to the soon-to-be launched streaming service of ESPN, the sports network owned by Disney, to watch local sports. That’s because among the assets acquired is Fox Sports’ vast regional networks. 

Here’s a breakdown of how the blockbuster deal may shake out whether you’re a sports, comic-book hero or movie fan — or all three. 

For super-hero fans 

Buying 20th Century Fox’s film and TV studios could help Disney fulfill many comic book fans’ long-awaited dream: A return of the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters to the original owner. Before Disney bought Marvel in 2009, the comic-book publisher sold off rights of several popular characters — including X-Men’s Deadpool and Wolverine — to Fox and other studios. 

The sale gives Marvel, home to the Iron Man, Captain America and Avengers franchises, the ability to fully integrate the popular characters into future films together.

One catch: that may take awhile. Fox has three X-Men films in various stages of post-production and set for release in 2018.

Given…