Comcast confirmed in a statement that it is considering an offer for assets of 21 Century Fox that would top the amount Disney has already agreed to pay.
In its statement, Comcast said it is “in advanced stages” of preparing an offer and that any offer for Fox would be all-cash and at a premium to Disney’s $52.4 billion bid, which is based on stock.
“While no final decision has been made, at this point the work to finance the all-cash offer and make the key regulatory filings is well advanced,” Comcast said.
After Fox head Rupert Murdoch decided to sell a large chunk of his media empire, it set off a battle between Comcast and Disney, which are both seeking to have the kind of scale and content creation power that will be needed in the future of the media business.
Traditional media companies are feeling threatened by tech companies such as Netflix, Amazon and Apple, which are spending billions of dollars on content.
Comcast made an offer to Fox that was valued at 17% higher than the Disney offer, but Disney in December decided to take the Disney offer because it considered Disney stock more valuable in the long run than Comcast's.
21st Century Fox is spinning off its broadcast TV network, sports networks and Fox News into what it is calling "New Fox." The other assets include TV and movie studios, cable channels including FX and National Geographic, plus stakes in Hulu and Sky.
Comcast is also bidding against Fox for Sky in Europe. Fox owns a minority stake in Sky but has made a bid for the share it does not own. The Fox offer has faced challenges getting through the British regulatory process.
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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