With rumors swirling about The Walt Disney Company making a move to buy Fox’s film and television assets, a new challenger has potentially entered the ring.
According to CNBC, Comcast is also making overtures to buy Fox. Should Comcast buy Fox, this could spell big trouble for Disney. Not only is Comcast-owned NBC a broadcast competitor to Disney’s ABC, but it’s also huge competitor in theme parks as they own Universal Studios.
A Comcast-Fox deal probably wouldn’t spell immediate disaster for Disney, but it could be worrisome. Fox assets include two Marvel properties (Fantastic Four and X-Men) and Avatar (which was the basis for a new themed land in Walt Disney World) as well as the unaltered original Star Wars trilogy. It could also put a serious dent in Disney’s plan to rival Netflix as the streaming platform of choice, as analysts believe that Disney wants Fox’s media library to add to its own.
Comcast has approached 21st Century Fox and expressed interest in an acquisition of some of Fox’s assets, sources said Thursday.
Talks are ongoing, a source said.
Comcast is interested in the same set of assets that Disney approached Fox about earlier this year, sources said. Also of interest to Comcast is acquiring the international assets of Fox, given that the Philadelphia-based company is heavily concentrated in the U.S.
And there could be another suitor… Verizon.
Verizon Communications is also interested in acquiring parts of Fox, Dow Jones reported after the bell Thursday. A source told Reuters that Verizon is in the early stages of exploring a deal, which would provide content to stream to its mobile subscribers.
Whether or not this is all to help push Disney into buying Fox faster is up for debate. What isn’t, however, is that Fox will likely be sold soon and whoever nabs its massive library will have a strategic advantage in the streaming wars.
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