As Apple pushes forward with its plans to produce video content in-house, Comcast’s attempt to purchase Sky could strengthen its capacity to provide a rival streaming service.
Comcast on Tuesday revealed its intention to offer 22.1 billion ($30.9 billion) for Sky, in a deal worth 12.50 a share, according to The Wall Street Journal. Back in December 2016, Fox had submitted an offer of 10.75 per share for the 61 percent of the company it doesn’t already own.
The moves for media consolidation come on the heels of Disney looking to acquire 21st Century Fox, after Comcast reportedly considered its own bid.
Sky is Europe’s largest media company, boasting 21 million subscribers as of 2015. If Disney’s purchase of Fox goes through, it would acquire its 39 percent stake in Sky.
Both Comcast and Fox’s bids are motivated by a desire to maintain dominance amid changes to the broadcasting industry. Notably, Apple has been gradually expanding its original content plans as it looks to move beyond its earliest programs —”Planet of the Apps” and “Carpool Karaoke.”
In all, Apple is expected to spend $1 billion on original content, creating up to 10 new TV shows. Programs in production include a drama called “See,” a space drama from “Battlestar Galactica” reboot creator Ronald D. Moore, and a morning show-related drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.
With Apple getting into original scripted content, alongside Netflix, Amazon and Hulu creating their own hit shows, traditional media outlets like Comcast and Disney are feeling the need to fortify their positions.
Fox’s attempt to control all of Sky, including its news division, has been held up by claims that such a deal would put too much control over the UK’s media in one place. Mogul Rupert Murdoch and his family own both Fox and News Corp, which operates three of Britain’s biggest newspapers
Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority is expected to publish its recommendation in May , at which point the country’s government will decide whether the deal can go ahead, according to The Guardian. Fox has offered to implement an independent board to ensure the autonomy of Sky’s news division – a measure that could be abandoned if and when the Disney deal goes through.