Rupert Murdoch can buy Fox Sports Networks back from Disney


The second irony is that Murdoch can once thank rival Comcast for making money when he lands on the networks.

When Comcast and Disney tried to buy Fox assets earlier this year, one thing was never in doubt – Murdoch wanted to sell to Disney. Several times Murdoch agreed with the bids of Disney against Comcast.

But Comcast's competitive offers allow Murdoch to spend $ 19 billion more on his bundle of assets.

Comcast's involvement could help him make the sports networks a bargain.

Disney initially agreed to buy the Fox assets for $ 52 billion. Comcast's competitive offerings for Fox have pushed the price down to $ 71.3 billion. In this process, the valuation of RSNs was increased, as with all other assets (including 39 percent of British TV provider Sky, which was later purchased by Comcast).

Disney will almost certainly not find a buyer who will pay this overvalued rating only to the networks. New Fox's most likely rival (apart from a competing offer from a company like John Malone's Liberty Media) is a private equity firm – and there's little chance a leveraged buyout firm will win a bidding war for the RSNs and Satisfy your limited partner Make a future return on your assets.

(Disney will end up getting $ 15 billion back to sell his 39 percent stake in Sky and possibly $ 20 billion to the RSN, which would make the $ 71.3 billion deal with Fox more than $ 36 billion .)

It's possible that Google, Amazon, or another technology company may be interested in sports rights networks at some point. But that seems unlikely. The regional sports networks are tied to a traditional cable system that tech companies usually find an abomination. If Amazon or Google wants to have regional sports rights, they can just wait for the current contracts to expire and then bid on them.

The final irony is Fox's decision to sell the RSNs to Disney could actually have convinced Murdoch that it would be better to keep them. In the months following Fox's decision to sell, New Fox has focused and focused on news and sports. Netflix publicly praised the company for making that decision last week.

It is possible that Fox has come to the conclusion that the RSNs make more sense than selling them, even if it was not so 10 months ago.

Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com.

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