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Comcast To Get Entire Of Sky As Fox Agrees To Sell Its Minority Stake In Sky

Comcast To Get Entire Of Sky As Fox Agrees To Sell Its Minority Stake In Sky
Following the win in the blind bidding process for British broadcaster Sky, Comcast is set to completely take over the company with Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox agreeing to sell off its 39 per cent stake in Sky.  
Fox said in a statement that the stake of the company in the company is worth about $15 billion according to the terms of the deal.
This was an expected decision that was made with the consent of Walt Disney Co. which is set to be the owner of a majority of assets of Fox. All of Sky, which has about 23 million paid subscribers in Europe, has been wanted to be owned by Disney. But the plans had been thrown off road by the Philadelphia-based Comcast and under its Chairman and Chief Executive Brian Roberts – first put in rival bid for the British broadcaster, and then bid higher in a rare auction on Saturday in the UK. Comcast offered nearly $40 billion for the entire assets of Sky.
Sky is a desirable asset for both the companies because it would have helped the companies to set foot into international entertainment market. Sky was once described as a “crown jewel” in the Fox empire by Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger.
However, analysts say that Disney would be benefitted in others ways even by the loss of Sky. Disney would be benefitted as the amount of debt that the company would now have to take so that it can complete the acquisition of Fox would be reduced, said Burbank-based Disney and added that the loss of Sky would also help it to reorganize and expend more money into its crucial streaming plans.
Almost all of the assets of Fox are set to be acquired by Disney after the firm outbid Comcast in another battle in the US earlier this year. Fox’s Century City film and TV studio and cable networks such as FX are set to taken over by Disney. The huge takeover was approved in July by shareholders of Disney and Fox and experts say that this deal would have a significant impact on the corporate media landscape. Disney would however have to sell Fox’s 22 regional sports networks to gain regulatory approval.
Sources gave told the media that Disney will be able to significantly bring down the acquisition costs for Fox by about $30 billion selling off its minority stake in Sky and the sports networks of Fox.
That would allow the entertainment behemoth to allocate mode funds for its ambitious streaming video strategy which has been drawn up with the aim of allowing Disney to complete with the likes of video streaming tech companies such as Netflix. It is expected that in 2019, Disney would launch a direct-to-consumer video service that would have original content from some of its most important brands including Marvel, Pixar and “Star Wars.”
“We don't think missing out on Sky is a major blow to Disney's ... strategy, as Disney already has high-quality content, the ability to create more high-quality content, and the ability to launch premium [over-the-top] products globally,” Cowen & Co. media analyst Doug Creutz said in a research note to clients.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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