USA cable giant Comcast is reportedly seeking a loan of up to $60 billion to support a cash bid for media properties that 21st Century Fox has already said it will sell to Walt Disney Co for a fee of $52 billion.
It comes as the US Cable operator and owner of the NBC broadcast network prepares to intensify its bid for 21st Century Fox with an all cash deal.
Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger clinched an all-stock deal with Fox Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch in December to acquire Fox's film, television and worldwide businesses, giving the world's largest entertainment company an arsenal of shows and movies to combat growing digital rivals Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc. That includes Fox's stake in Hulu, the popular video streaming service. But Comcast already has a bid in to buy the entirety of Sky, which would effectively spoil the pot for Disney. The Murdoch family also favored owning Disney stock over Comcast stock. It should be worth noting that Fox has been leaning closer to Disney due to its historical increase in stocks and creating better "long-term value".
This isn't the first time Comcast has been interested in Fox's media assets. Comcast already made media history in 2009 when they acquired a majority stake in NBCUniversal.
"We do not believe that Comcast-NBCU has the same incentives as pre-transaction NBCU to facilitate the ongoing development of Hulu, so we require Comcast-NBCU to hold its interest in Hulu exclusively as an economic interest", the FCC said at the time.
The new meeting ground for video programming distributors! However, Rupert Murdoch went with Disney in large part because the regulatory hurdles facing Comcast seemed significant.
Hulu says it has 20 million U.S. subscribers.
Late Monday, Reuters reported that Comcast was lining up financing to make an all-cash bid for Fox's vaunted TV and movie studio, FX, National Geographic channels, almost two dozen regional sports networks and control of the online streaming service Hulu.
At the end of a year ago, Walt Disney announced that it would be acquiring Fox - for a cool $52.4 billion (£39 billion), no less, making it a pretty big deal.
Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts (pictured) was careful to sidestep questions about renewed interest in Fox when he spoke to analysts about his company's bid for Sky.