Disney Might Lose 21st Century Fox Purchase to Comcast With Upcoming Offer

Comcast Prepared To Submit All Cash Offer For Fox Assets

Essentially, Fox should look at the strategic values that both parties can bring to the table and how these fit into Fox's own ambitions and plans.While Disney is more established in the content space, commanding a wide genre of content that appeals to different segments universally, Comcast is the challenger brand between the bidders, being more US-centric with its strength built on data and technology.

While no final decision has been made, Comcast said its work to finance the offer - and preparation to file key regulatory statements - is "well advanced".

Disney, the $153 billion film, television and theme parks conglomerate, is trying to buy the Twentieth Century Fox film studio, Fox Sports Regional Networks and other assets from 21st Century Fox, the $72 billion media company run by the Murdoch family.

Joseph added that Comcast's offer is expected to be at a financial premium to Disney's, and as such "Fox is in a good position either ways". Last month, Comcast also formally made a $31 billion bid for the European subscription TV giant Sky, offering to take full ownership of the network in which Fox owns a 39 percent stake.

Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier this month that Comcast was working on financing for a cash offer worth as much as $60 billion for the Fox assets, but Wednesday's statement was the first formal confirmation by the company.

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Disney shares have fallen almost 3.3 percent since, reducing the value of the offer to just over $50 billion. However, Comcast reportedly refused to sweeten the pot with a fee that would go to Fox should federal regulators reject the deal. For now, Comcast strictly seems interested in the company's entertainment division. If Disney ups its offer for Fox, then that could trigger a bidding war for the studio's assets.

Either deal would dramatically reshape the media-entertainment landscape and scale back the Fox empire created by the 87-year-old Murdoch.

"If Comcast formalizes a superior all-cash offer, we would support that offer over the current Disney offer", TCI founder Christopher Hohn said in the letter. Separately, Comcast received preliminary consideration from a United Kingdom government official to pursue an effort to buy Sky for $31 billion.

Sky's independent board, which had told shareholders to accept Murdoch's offer, withdrew that recommendation in light of Comcast's higher bid.

Any takeover attempt by Comcast would be likely to face regulatory scrutiny, as will Disney's offer. The government worries that AT&T, as DirecTV's owner, could charge Comcast and other rival distributors higher prices for Time Warner channels like CNN or HBO.

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