Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

Comcast Tries to Pluck 21st Century Fox From Disney

Comcast Tries to Pluck 21st Century Fox From Disney

Comcast may buy 21st Century Fox instead of Disney, but what does this mean - and is either outcome actually good for audiences?

At the end of previous year, Walt Disney announced that it would be acquiring Fox - for a cool $52.4 billion (£39 billion), no less, making it a pretty big deal.

Comcast also may make a play for all of the Fox assets that Disney wants, sources have told Reuters.

James Murdoch, the 21st Century Fox chief executive, is planning to strike out on his own if Fox's pending deal to sell much of the company to Walt Disney Co. closes, most likely by starting a venture-capital fund to invest in digital and global media businesses, according to people familiar with the matter.

For both Disney and Universal, the benefit of acquiring Fox's assets would be ownership of recognizable brands, film and television content for distribution across multiple platforms, and new avenues of distribution, such as Sky.

Comcast and Disney see the writing on the wall - change and adapt or become Blockbuster.

Fox is in the final stages of a bid to buy the 61 percent of the United Kingdom broadcaster it does not already own but at 10.75 pounds a share compared with Comcast's 12.50 pounds has so far made the lower offer. Disney is going to be launching its own video streaming services in 2019.

Comcast has previously tried to disrupt the Disney / 21st Century Fox by making a bid for Sky, a pan-European media and telecommunications company that 21st Century Fox owns 39.14% controlling stake in.

Lachlan Murdoch now serves as executive co-chairman of 21st Century Fox.

If the Disney buyout goes through, Marvel will get Fox's characters, like the X-Men and Fantastic Four, back without any issues.

The Burbank entertainment giant subsequently announced a reorganization that positioned two executives as possible successors to Iger: Kevin Mayer, the newly appointed head of the direct-to-consumer business, and Bob Chapek, head of parks and consumer products. The 21st Century Fox deal is their latest battleground. The Walt Disney Company has a large financial resources at their disposal.

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