Comcast and NBCUniversal see a real need to expand globally, and the company’s bids for Sky—and, soon, 21st Century Fox—are just the ticket, one NBCU executive says.
Kevin MacLellan, chairman of global distribution and international at NBCUniversal, said his company has done well in the U.S., but it’s a mature market and Comcast needs to set its sights on international growth.
"It's really about, we're so big in the U.S., so how do we create a business overseas to address the fact that the margins are likely going to shrink as we move forward?" MacLellan asked during the Banff World Media Festival, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
U.K. regulators last week accepted Comcast’s $29 billion bid for U.K.-based pay-TV operator Sky without any conditions. Fox’s current $24.7 billion to buy the 61% of Sky it doesn’t already own required Fox to divest Sky News. Fox said it has already submitted a proposal for the divestiture of Sky News to Disney.
“We note that the secretary of state agrees with this solution and has instructed officials from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to agree final undertakings that he would be prepared to accept and consult on within the two-week timeframe. We now look forward to engaging with DCMS and we are confident that we will reach a final decision clearing our transaction,” Fox said in a statement.
Comcast is also cooking up a competing bid for the Fox assets Disney currently plans to buy in a stock deal valued at $52.4 billion. Disney is acquiring Fox’s television and film studios, cable networks, Fox Networks Group International, Star India and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group.
Last month, Comcast confirmed that it’s in the “advanced stages” of prepping an all-cash offer for the same assets, and at a premium to what Disney has offered. Comcast is reportedly especially interested in Fox’s assets in India.