March 24, 2018

Comcast, Verizon approached Twenty-First Century Fox to buy some assets

20 November 2017, 01:54 | Sheila Mcguire

Comcast wants to buy 'most of' Fox, report says

At a time of tremendous change in media consumption big companies are trying to get bigger and upstarts are trying to survive. CREDIT Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez  AFP  Getty Images

Comcast is in discussions with 21st Century Fox about buying its movie studio, some cable channels and its global arms, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

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

Almost two weeks after reports surfaced of Walt Disney Co. interest in buying assets of 21st Century Fox, CNBC and other news outlets are reporting new bidders have surfaced to express interest including Comcast, Verizon and Sony.

Reports late Thursday said Comcast is in talks to buy some of the assets of Rupert Murdoch's Fox.

Buyers have expressed interest in Fox's production studios, cable networks FX and National Geographic, and global assets such as the Star network in India and Sky Plc, sources told Reuters on Thursday.

Fox shares rallied more than six percent to end at $31.15, the highest level since April.

"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. "Maybe, just maybe, the company is acknowledging that the outlook for film has changed from an ok business to a bad business for everyone not owning a massive stable of global franchises", he wrote in a note last week. Comcast and Verizon are said to be interested in acquiring Fox as well.

US cable and telecom companies have been buying up media assets and launching advertising businesses in the past several years.

Among other duties, the pair are working to expand partnerships with independent production companies, with Twentieth Century Fox recently announcing a partnership with Locksmith Animation in the United Kingdom.

Comcast owns NBCUniversal, and regulatory conditions placed on that deal expire in 2018.

Reports that the Murdoch family could sell parts of its empire came as a surprise last week.

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