Since the day after a U.S. District judge approved the merger between AT&T and Warner Times, Comcast has submitted a bid for 21st Century Fox’s TV and film assets- CNBC.
Comcast is the parent company of CNBC and has offered Fox shareholders $35 a share in cash to the total of $65 billion, beating Disney’s stock-based offer of $52.4 billion deal. As we know, 21st Century Fox has already entered into this deal with Disney; however, Comcast is trying to change the minds of Fox’s board members.
This deal will increase Comcast’s international footprint and boost its international portfolio at a time when it’s facing pressure in its video business. In a letter to Fox’s board and members of the Murdoch family, Comcast’s CEO Brian Roberts said,
“We were disappointed when [Fox] decided to enter into a transaction with The Walt Disney
The company, even though we had offered a meaningfully higher price.” It goes on to say, “We are pleased to present a new, all-cash proposal that fully addresses the Board’s stated concerns with our prior proposal.”
On a conference call with investors, Roberts said that the Fox assets, which include Twentieth-Century Fox television and film studios, cable channels FX and National Geographic, 22 regional sports networks, and Star India, would improve Comcast’s position domestically as well as internationally. The company has faced pressure in its video business in the U.S. as more consumers cut the cord.
“These are highly strategic and complementary businesses, and we are in our minds the right buyer,” Roberts said.
Due to new technology, attracting users towards cord cutting and adopting Internet-based media services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video services & other, Comcast is feeling pressure in its Video business. This deal will improve Comcast’s position in its video business locally as well as internationally.
In May 2018, Comcast announced its plan to expand its stock by making a bid on 20th Century Fox, which owns 20th Century Fox Television, Film studio, several Fox-owned cable channels, including Star India and a stake in Hulu. However, the company was waiting for final judgement ruling in AT&T and Time Warner merger.
Both Disney and Comcast are looking forward to add capabilities in creating the content they distribute over their networks and expanding their current assets by acquiring Fox’s assets to reach beyond the United States. Fox’s assets include movies like Avatar, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Deadpool, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Titanic, Miracle on 34th Street, The Shape of Water, and Gone Girl.
Comcast feels confident of its chances to get a deal passed by U.S. regulators and is willing to divest in Fox’s regional sports network and even Fox’s portion of HULU, if necessary.