Fox favors Disney as a buyer of Studio, media assets –

Fox favors Disney as a buyer of Studio, media assets


21st Century Fox Inc., the global film and television company controlled by the Murdoch family, would prefer to sell some badets to Walt Disney Co. because it is a better strategic fit and presents fewer regulatory hurdles, people familiar with the business said.

The family is in talks with Disney, as well as Comcast Corp., about the combination of certain media businesses with potential buyers, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the conversations are private. The badets would include the film and television studio 20th Century Fox and Fox's participation in UK pay television provider Sky Plc, they said. They do not include Fox News, the Fox television network or Fox Sports 1.

An agreement could open the door for James Murdoch, Fox's executive director, to join Disney. The Murdochs aim to make a decision by the end of the year, the people said. If they pursue a transaction they will depend on the price and structure, they said.

Lachlan, from the left, Rupert and James

Photographer: Leon Neal / AFP through Getty Images

The Murdoch – Rupert Murdoch, 86, and their sons James and Lachlan, senior Fox officers, they are considering a sale since the market values ​​the group below its slower growth peers. An agreement would dramatically expand Disney's global reach, giving the world's largest entertainment company control of Sky, Star India and the US cable channels, including FX and National Geographic.

Fox, based in New York, declined to comment. Disney, based in Burbank, California, did not respond to requests for comment.

An agreement would mix ownership of movies and TV badets at a time when the changing habits of the viewer are putting pressure on subscribers in the television industry and advertising revenues. If an agreement is reached, Disney could also obtain majority ownership of Hulu, an online streaming service that competes with Netflix.

As CEO of Fox, James Murdoch has faced a series of scandals at the company, including accusations of badual harbadment on top of Fox News that added regulatory scrutiny to the offer of 11.7 billion pounds ($ 15.8 billion) ) for the rest of Sky.

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