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Comcast drops bid for Fox assets, clears path for Disney

by Les Sillars
Posted 7/19/18, 12:37 pm

Comcast said Thursday it is dropping its bid for control of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment business to focus on its pursuit of the European pay-TV operator Sky. Fox owns 39 percent of Sky and is trying to buy the 61 percent it doesn’t own. Last week Comcast boosted its offer to $34 billion for Sky, which has 22.5 million customers in Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and the U.K. Its offerings include English Premier League soccer and Game of Thrones.

Comcast’s announcement means The Walt Disney Co.’s $71 billion offer for the Fox assets likely will go through. Disney is buying content to bolster its planned streaming service, reportedly set to start in the fall of 2019. To a collection that already includes Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel films, Disney is set to add Fox’s large library of hit television shows and films, including the X-Men franchise. The U.S. Department of Justice has OK’d Disney’s bid as long as it sells Fox’s 22 regional sports networks.

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Les Sillars

Les directs the journalism program at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Va., and is WORLD Magazine’s Mailbag editor.

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