Fri. Sep 21st, 2018

Comcast Prepares New Fox Bid, Lines Up Buyers for RSNs

Comcast will not go quietly into that good night when it comes to trying to purchase 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets. Disney is currently the leader to win those assets after bidding $71.3 billion earlier this month. The Department of Justice said they would recommend the sale go through providing that Disney sell off Fox’s regional sports networks.

Nothing is finalized yet though, so Reuters reports that Comcast is preparing an offer of their own, and as a part of that offer, they are already lining up potential buyers for the Fox RSNs should the bid be successful.

Comcast, which made a $65 billion all-cash offer for the Fox assets last month only for Disney to raise its bid, is talking to private equity firms, including Apollo Global Management LLC (APO.N) and Blackstone Group LP (BX.N), to gauge interest about acquiring the RSNs, the sources said. It is possible that a telecommunications or media company might also express interest in purchasing the RSNs, the sources added.

Comcast believes finding such partners will not only allow it to argue that it can win antitrust approval for the Fox assets as easily as Disney, but will also boost its finances as its prepares to make a second all-cash offer later this month, the sources said.

But Awful Announcing’s Ken Fang says that Comcast, which already owns 8 RSNs of its own, doesn’t want to sell all of the RSNs if it doesn’t have to.

Comcast is said to be ready to negotiate with the feds on the number of Fox RSN’s it would have to divest as some of them may overlap with Comcast’s NBC Sports regional networks.

Fox shareholders will vote on the Disney offer on July 27th. Comcast’s counteroffer is obviously expected to come in before that.

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