Sky has been increasingly rolling out its next generation platform Sky Q, this morning announcing a landmark partnership with music service Spotify, while Comcast operates the X1 Cloud DVR service in the U.S.
Rupert Murdoch's long-standing ambition to take full control of Sky is facing a fresh complication from an unexpected quarter after USA cable giant Comcast tabled a rival $31bn bid for the pan-European broadcaster, significantly higher than 21st Century Fox's earlier $25.8bn submission. He added: "We would like to own the whole of Sky and will be looking to acquire over 50 per cent of the Sky shares". If the Disney-21st Century Fox deal is eventually completed, Fox Broadcasting and the FS1/FS2 cable channels will not be included in the deal. Comcast, on the other hand, may not face those hurdles. Also, Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Comcast.
The US cable operator confirmed its interest in taking a majority stake as a 21st Century Fox deal to buy the 61% of Sky it does not already own remains held up by regulatory clearances.
United States media conglomerate Comcast has surprisingly hijacked Rupert Murdoch's Sky takeover bid, with a rival offer worth around £22 billion. One analyst in London said that the initial reaction of share price shows this story is not yet complete with the price for the stock already surpassing the higher offer by Comcast.
Comcast added that it did not believe its offer "should create any media plurality concerns in the UK".
"[Disney CEO Bob Iger] has described Sky as the "crown jewel" asset among the Fox operations he is seeking to acquire". The 86-year-old mogul therefore has two options: revise the terms of the Disney sale to exclude Sky, or enter into a bidding war with Roberts.
Neither Fox nor Disney had responded to a request for comment at the time of writing.
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Photo Brian Roberts, the chairman and chief executive of Comcast.
How will regulators view the Comcast bid?
Comcast said its bid of £12.50 a share was 16% higher than the 21st Century Fox offer. Earlier this month both Reuters and the Wall Street Journal reported that Comcast was thinking of reviving its attempt to counter Disney for Fox's assets even though its previous bid was rejected late a year ago.
HSF and A&O also led for Sky and 21st Century Fox in 2014, when Sky (then called BskyB) concluded a deal worth up to £7.4bn to buy European sister companies Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia from 21st Century Fox.
Roberts and Cavanagh lauded Sky News and said it could work together with Comcast's NBC News and MSNBC. "It has 23 million customers and leading positions in the UK, Italy, and Germany", Roberts said in a statement.
Roberts said Comcast would use Sky to further expand its European presence, reports the Financial Times.