Comcast reportedly lining up bidders for Fox Sports Net channels

Comcast reportedly lining up bidders for Fox Sports Net channels

Disney and Comcast are also locked in a separate $70 billion-plus battle to buy most of Fox's assets, which include the 39% stake of Sky it already owns and the rest of the company if it emerges triumphant in Britain.

In a statement Comcast, a $155 billion U.S. cable television giant, said that its latest offer represented a premium of approximately 5.4 per cent to the 21st Century Fox offer, "implying a value of approximately..."

The agreed price represents an 82 percent premium to Sky's shares in December 2016, before it struck its original deal to buy Sky, and a multiple of 21 times 2017 earnings per share.

Regulators are concerned that Fox's ownership of Sky News would give Murdoch and his family too much influence over United Kingdom media. Sky shares closed at 15.15 pounds.

The fight for Sky is part of a wider contest between Comcast and Walt Disney Co. for the bulk of Murdoch's media empire, as each tries to scale up to take on streaming competitors Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.

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Disney's bid to buy out the majority of Fox's entertainment assets was the talk of the town previous year, until the two companies hit a roadblock - an anti-competitive complaint by the Department of Justice. However, completion of the Sky acquisition is not a condition to completion of the Disney deal, nor will it affect the amount or form of consideration that stockholders of 21CF receive in the Disney transaction, Fox said.

Fox said early Wednesday morning, "As the founding shareholder of Sky, we have remained deeply committed to bringing these two organizations together to create a world-class business positioned to deliver the very best entertainment experiences well into the future".

"We are please to be announcing a recommended increased offer for Sky today", said Brian Roberts, chief executive of Comcast.

The end of the week is also be the deadline for Comcast to post an offer to Sky shareholders, who then have 60 days to consider that offer under United Kingdom takeover rules. News Corp., which is controlled by the Murdochs, withdrew its bid for Sky soon after.

"There are enough sub-plots in the race to acquire Sky to commission a primetime drama", Salmon said.

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