Chase Carey, President and Chief Operating Officer, 21st Century Fox, has said his company is not planning to bid for UK’s ITV, amid speculation that it is the target of major US media groups, and confirmed Fox’s support both of subscription TV and content creation.
Carey, speaking during a keynote session at the RTS London Conference 2014, said that although 21st Century Fox had agreed to sell its shareholding in Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia, it retained a 40 per cent shareholding in BSkyB. “We’re excited at the prospect of the BSkyB franchise,” he said. He admitted that Fox remained keen to invest in content, and recognised the attractiveness of the UK creative community. “We’re a content company; we want to invest in content that we think we can bring to a wider audience. You can certainly expect us to invest more.”
He effectively ruled out a bid for ITV, which has been making its own investments and acquisitions in the production sector, noting that BSkyB had sold a 6.4 per cent shareholding in ITV to cable operator Liberty Media. “Fox has no plans; I can’t speak for Sky,” he said.
On BSkyB and the possibility of a renewed bid, he added: “I don’t think it ever makes sense for us to say, long-term, we’re not going to do X, Y and Z. I think you have to see how the world evolves and that’s just reality. But certainly what I can say clearly is we have no plans, we have no initiatives underway.”
Fox has recently been disappointed in its multi-billion dollar bid for Time Warner.