In the continuing saga of US media conglomerates battling over Sky of the United Kingdom, Comcast has fired the latest salvo in its hopes of gaining control of the company. The owner of NBCUniversal has formalized its $31 billion offer for Sky which now leaves the next move up to Disney.
The Mouse entered into a deal to purchase much of Fox’s assets including 39% of Sky which is under Fox’s umbrella. And Fox has been attempting to get all of Sky which in turn would flip it to Disney. UK regulators have balked at allowing Fox to gain total control of Sky so that’s where we are at this point.
Comcast would love to expand its base to Europe and also have control of Sky Sports which has rights to the English Premier League, Formula 1, golf and other events.
In addition to sports, Sky has a news operation, entertainment channel and a pay satellite service.
In a statement, Comcast chair Brian Roberts said that he hopes Sky will accept his offer:
“We are delighted to be formalizing our offer for Sky today,” Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement. “We have long believed Sky is an outstanding company and a great fit with Comcast. Sky has a strong business, excellent customer loyalty, and a valued brand. It is led by a terrific management team who we look forward to working with to build and grow this business.”
Comcast pledged to keep several of Sky’s assets like Sky News and maintain its corporate headquarters in the UK.
Whether Sky goes for it is the next question. The ball is in Disney’s court.