Not So Fast Fox and Disney. Comcast to Swoop In With an Offer.
While geekdom continues to act like the deal between Fox and Disney is done, it’s far from over. A vote from shareholders as well as regulatory approval still needs to happen. But, before even that, Comcast is stepping in for a bid of their own.
After weeks of rumors, Comcast said today they are in “advance stages” of an all-cash offer for the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox. The Comcast offer would be at a “premium” conpared to the Disney offer though specifics haven’t been announced.
Comcast had previously made an offer to Fox that topped Disney last year but that was rejected by the 21st Century Fox’s board. The board felt the Disney deal had better synergy and they worried abou regulatory risks.
This is just one of the many battles and dramas playing out including AT&T’s fight with U.S. regulators over their deal to acquire Time Warner. Comcast has launched an offer for Sky which would top 21st Century Fox’s takeover of the U.K. satellite TV operator, and CBS and Viacom are fighting over a plan to merge the two.
The Comcast and Disney plans would be to take over FX Networks, National Geographic, 300 international channels, 22 regional sports networks, the 20th Century Fox film and TV studio, Fox’s 30% stake in Hulu, 50% share of Edemol Shine Group, the Star India satellite service, and Fox’s 39% interest in Euro satellite broadcaster Sky. Both Comcast and Disney already have a percent of Hulu. This acquisition would give whomever a majority of the control of that service.
The New Fox that emerged would include the Fox Broadcasting Company network and its TV station group, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, and Fox Sports operations.