Comcast talking to Fox about a deal, source says

20 November, 2017, 01:56 | Author: Evan Mason
  • The 21st Century Fox sign in New York City

A source familiar with the discussions said Comcast, Verizon and Sony are among the suitors in "preliminary" talks for the assets, which include Fox's stake in the British pay TV group Sky and its movie and television studio properties.

Murdoch and his sons Lachlan and James, who hold key roles in his media empire, have remained silent on their plans for 21st Century Fox, which includes the Fox Hollywood studios, broadcast, and cable operations Sky, which has a presence in Britain, Ireland, Germany, Austria, and Italy.

"Either Disney or Comcast would be a good fit, but its always about price and neither has to be a strategic buyer, only opportunistic", said JBL Advisors analyst Jeffrey Logsdon.

Sony is believed to be looking at a select group of assets rather than the entire company. But a move to acquire components of Fox's extensive global assets could flip the script.

Traditional media companies have been struggling with subscriber declines as streaming service Netflix has gained traction with younger audiences that shun traditional cable and satellite offerings. This comes a week after it was reported that Fox and Disney have been in talks for a possible sale. "That´s enough for other companies to get their bankers working on something to attempt to get a meeting of their own", he said.

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Comcast and Disney also have some competition from Verizon, a second Reuters report indicates. A new report states that Sony Entertainment is also interested in acquiring Fox's movie assets.

"(I am) skeptical of a Verizon deal, creative businesses are very tough to manage for an outsider", Logsdon said.

Murdoch and Fox have been seeking to gain control of Sky, already holding a 39 percent stake, amid a lengthy investigation by United Kingdom regulators.

If such a deal took place, it would leave Fox with its Fox News channel, sports channels, the Fox broadcast network and several TV stations.

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