nsucurrent.com February 18, 2018

Sony enters early talks to acquire 20th Century Fox

20 November 2017, 01:55 | Lowell Little

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

Rupert Murdoch and his son Lachlan Murdoch who share the role of executive chairman at 21st Century Fox which is in talks to sell some of its television and film operations

Last week it was reported that 21 Century Fox is in talks with 3 potential buyers including Comcast, Verizon, and Sony for a potential sale.

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

Disney was in talks to buy Fox's movie and TV production studios, cable networks FX and National Geographic and worldwide assets such as the Star network in India and European pay TV provider Sky Plc, CNBC reported last week. Comcast would also be interested in Fox's regional sports networks, one of the people said last week. "Acquisition of a movie studio and cable channels would be a departure for Verizon, which has focused its media deals around advertising technology and internet properties", the outlet adds. The rise of online competitors like Netflix and YouTube has slowed the growth of pay-TV, and Comcast, the biggest US cable provider, has been adding film and TV assets to ensure it has a hand in both programming and distribution.

The company reportedly reached out to Fox after talks between Disney and Fox were reported earlier this month. 21st Century Fox was carved out as a separate entity from News Corp.in 2013 amid a scandal involving the United Kingdom newspaper division and concerns that the financial challenges of the publishing businesses were dragging down the value of Fox media and entertainment assets. Comcast and Verizon are said to be interested in acquiring Fox as well.

Other companies may also want the Fox assets. There is also speculation that the Murdochs might use the proceeds from selling off big pieces of 21st Century Fox to take an enlarged News Corp. private.

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

Comcast, the largest cable provider in the United States, has steadily boosted its content ownership over the years and buying Fox's assets would give it an worldwide distribution footprint and strengthen its position against Disney.

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