Comcast Corp, the biggest cable operator in the United States, has offered to pay $31 billion to buy British pay-TV, Sky, Reuters reports.
Comcast’s move is a major challenge for Rupert Murdoch’s Fox and Bob Iger’s Walt Disney, which are also interested in the deal.
According to Reuters, Comcast, a $184 billion media giant which owns NBC and Universal Pictures, on Tuesday said it was offering 12.50 pounds per share, significantly higher than the 10.75 pounds per share agreed by Fox.
Present in 23 million homes across Europe and known for its technological innovation, Britain’s Sky has already agreed to be sold to Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox but the takeover has been delayed by concerns over the media tycoon’s influence in Britain.
That has complicated a separate $52 billion deal by Disney to buy Fox assets including Sky.
“Sky and Comcast are a perfect fit: we are both leaders in creating and distributing content,” Comcast Chief Executive Officer Brian L. Roberts, 58, said. “We think Sky is an outstanding company.”
The latest round of major deals indicates the pressures being felt by traditional cable television networks which have been losing customers to streaming services like Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc.