Murdoch's Fox ups Sky bid to $32.5 billion, all eyes on Comcast

Jul 12, 2018, 20:37
Murdoch's Fox ups Sky bid to $32.5 billion, all eyes on Comcast

Comcast increased its bid for Sky Wednesday evening, beating an offer 21st Century Fox issued earlier in the day to continue a bidding war for the British broadcaster. Comcast is said to be ready to negotiate with the feds on the number of Fox RSN's it would have to divest as some of them may overlap with Comcast's NBC Sports regional networks.

The Government had been concerned over the impact that Fox's takeover of Sky could have on United Kingdom media, given that the Murdoch family also owns News Corp - the publisher of a raft of newspapers including The Sun and The Times. Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox has raised its offer for Britain's Sky. Although the figure now looks to be untouchable, Comcast is expected to reply with its final offer that could climb as high as $90bn. Those assets include the Fox's Hollywood studios, content library, cable channels, global networks, and a 39-percent stake in Sky.

Sky, based in the United Kingdom, has more than 20 million subscribers in several European countries, in addition to a content arm that includes Sky News. Comcast said on Wednesday that Sky's independent board committee supports its offer that it plans to mail to Sky shareholders within days.

Disney is reportedly thinking of selling off Fox's RSN's to various companies like AT&T, Charter and other companies.

Or, if Comcast is reluctant to forfeit a stake in Sky, it could drop its bid for the bulk of Fox's entertainment assets, he said.

"Comcast has long admired Sky and believes it is an outstanding company and a great fit with Comcast", Comcast said in a statement. News Corp., which is controlled by the Murdochs, withdrew its bid for Sky soon after.

The fight for ownership of Sky is playing out against the backdrop of Disney and Comcast's battle for a raft of Fox assets, including Fox's current 39% stake in Sky. The Walt Disney Company has agreed to a $71 billion (Rs 4.88 lakh crore) takeover of Fox's entertainment assets, and will own all of Sky if Fox secures the deal.