Following the news that Disney had held talks regarding the potential acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s major television and movie production assets, reports have emerged that US media giant Comcast has approached Murdoch-family controlled Fox about a possible deal to obtain more shows to compete against disruptive online streaming giants such as Netflix and Amazon.
The approach by Comcast was first reported by the Murdoch-controlled The Wall Street Journal and confirmed by CNBC, owned by Comcast. US telco Verizon Communications is also interested in buying parts of Fox, according to Dow Jones.
Lachlan Murdoch, co-executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, speaking on 21st Century Fox’s Q1 2018 Earnings Call November 8th, played down the notion that the company was seeking to sell parts of its business to Disney, suggesting instead that Fox had the required scale.
“We have always been asset builders,” he averred. “We operate these businesses to build them and to grow, and we will continue to do that.” He also addressed the company’s size and ability to compete with giants such Comcast and AT&T. “There is a lot of talk about the growing importance of scale in the media industry. Let me be very clear. Fox has the required scale to continue to both execute on our growth strategy and deliver returns to our shareholders,” he declared.
At the close of trading in the US on November 16th, Fox had a market value of $53.8 billion (€45.6bn). Comcast’s market value stood at $173.3 billion.
By Nick Snow
Is 21st Century Fox in play? Absolutely. Who’s playing who is a more complicated question. Two weeks ago the news was of discussions with Disney about selling TV assets. Now Comcast is named as a possible buyer in the Murdoch press – that’s not a leak that’s a release…..