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Comcast's fourth quarter showed that fears over "cord cutting" in cable services and slower broadband growth may be overstated, analysts said. The results also reinforced why Comcast's NBCUniversal news and entertainment arm has announced a streaming strategy that appears less disruptive to traditional television and movie businesses than services planned by AT&T Inc (T.N) and Walt Disney Co (DIS.N). "We've always thought that the television ecosystem was healthier than maybe some people thought," NBCUniversal Chief Executive Stephen Burke told analysts in a conference call.
As U.S. subscribers have continued to dump pricier pay-TV services in favor of cheaper streaming services, Comcast has managed to slow down defections, at least for a quarter, while growing its broadband services, on which all other products, including Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) and Amazon.com (AMZN.O) video, depend. It also has remained the standalone among the big league players to resist the temptation to restructure to court consumers directly with streaming video products, as AT&T Inc (T.N) and Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) have done. "We're looking at different ways to accelerate our business in terms of streaming," said Steve Burke, Chief Executive of NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast, on a conference call with analysts on Thursday.
Competitor Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) races to deploy its next-generation 5G wireless service on mobile phones and in the home with speeds theoretically rivalling cable company products. Verizon launched its home internet 5G service in October, the first commercial offering of its kind in the United States. Comcast's high-speed internet business is one of its biggest contributors to revenue and profit as customers for its video services decline.
U.S. cable company Comcast (CMCSA.O) took control of Sky on Tuesday after it acquired the 39 percent of the company owned by Twenty-First Century Fox, the rival it defeated with a $40 billion knock-out bid for the European pay-TV group last month. Comcast said it held nearly 77 percent of Sky's shares, making its takeover wholly unconditional. Brian L. Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast, said he was pleased to become the majority owner of Sky on Tuesday.
Britain has sought additional reassurances from cable company Comcast over the editorial independence of the Sky News television channel following the U.S. group's takeover of broadcaster Sky. Comcast emerged triumphant in the long-running battle for the pay-TV group after it beat Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox in a rare auction held last month. "I've left them in no doubt at all about the importance of editorial independence and Sky News, and what we expect not just over the immediate period following the changes to corporate ownership, but in the longer term," culture minister Jeremy Wright told Sky News.
Comcast said it had secured over 75 percent of Sky's shares, bringing it closer to finalising the $40 billion (31 billion pounds) takeover of the British pay TV group. U.S. cable company Comcast has previously said it hoped the acquisition would complete by the end of October. Last month, Comcast emerged triumphant in the long-running battle for Sky after it beat Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox in an auction.
Comcast on Thursday revealed that it has grabbed more than 75% of Sky shares, allowing the US cable giant to kick-start in earnest its plan to take control of UK and European living rooms. Last week the cable giant said its £30 billion deal for the broadcaster of A discovery of Witches (pictured) was on track as it had already had 30% of the stock. Today it revealed it has struck a deal to get the 39% of stock owned by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, ending any last doubts that the deal would go through.
LONDON (Reuters) - Comcast (CMCSA.O) said it would stop buying Sky's (SKYB.L) shares in the market after it secured 38 percent of the stock plus the 39 percent holding from Rupert Murdoch in the $40 billion ...
21st Century Fox plans to sell its 39 per cent stake in Sky to Comcast, following the firm’s winning bid for the broadcaster in a takeover auction held last weekend. The Rupert Murdoch-owned company said in a statement on Wednesday: “In light of the premium Comcast has agreed to pay for Sky, we and Disney have decided to sell 21CF’s existing 39 per cent holding in Sky to Comcast. Comcast won out in a day-long auction overseen by Britain's Takeover Panel on Saturday, bringing a long-running bidding war to a close with its offer of £30bn.
Comcast (CMCSA.O), the victor in the $40 billion (£30.5 billion) auction for Sky (SKYB.L), said on Tuesday it had bought more than 30 percent of the European pay-TV group's shares in the market. Crossing the 30 percent threshold means that the U.S. cable company must offer to buy out other investors at the formal offer price of 17.28 pounds per share, valuing Sky at around 30.6 billion pounds. Shares in Comcast, owner of Universal Pictures and NBC network, fell on Monday on concerns about how much the company had paid to clinch the deal.
LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. cable giant Comcast scored a big win in the scramble for media assets by beating Rupert Murdoch, and his backer Disney, in the battle for Sky with an eye-watering $40 billion bid. It was a "great day" for Comcast, Chairman and Chief Executive Brian L. Roberts said of Saturday's auction victory. The U.S. group has had its sights set on Sky, Europe's biggest pay-TV company, ever since Walt Disney Co beat it to most of Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox assets in July.
Comcast beat Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox in the battle for Sky on Saturday after offering 30.6 billion pounds ($40 billion) in a dramatic auction to decide the fate of the pay-television group. The U.S. cable giant bid 17.28 pounds a share for control of London-listed Sky, bettering a 15.67 pounds-a-share offer by Fox, Britain's Takeover Panel said. Buying Sky will make Philadelphia-based Comcast, which owns the NBC network and Universal Pictures, the world's largest pay-TV operator with around 52 million customers.
The independent directors of Sky backed Comcast's offer for the pay-TV group on Saturday after a rare auction that saw the U.S. cable company defeat Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox. "We consider the Comcast offer to be an excellent outcome for Sky shareholders, and we are recommending it as it represents materially superior value," said Martin Gilbert, chairman of Sky's independent committee.
Comcast and Twenty-First Century Fox face a quick-fire auction for British broadcaster Sky on Saturday after neither side backed down in a drawn-out $34 billion battle. A deadline for U.S. cable giant Comcast and Rupert Murdoch's Fox to declare that their all-cash offers for Sky would not be increased passed on Friday without a move by either side, triggering a rare auction run by Britain's Takeover Panel. Fox, which has the backing of partner Walt Disney, and Comcast are vying for control of Sky to bolster their businesses in the face of rapid growth of streaming services such as Netflix, which are transforming the media industry.
Comcast said Sky shareholders have until Oct. 6 to accept its offer and the valid acceptances rose to 0.29 percent from 0.21 percent reported in August. Nasdaq-listed Comcast gatecrashed Rupert Murdoch-controlled Fox's attempt to buy the 61 percent of Sky that it does not already own earlier this year and its latest offer, higher than Fox's, has been recommended to shareholders by the broadcaster's independent directors.
(Reuters) - Comcast Corp will continue to offer 21st Century Fox Inc's Big Ten Network, including all games on Fox's sports channel FS1, the companies said on Friday. Fox, which is being acquired by Walt Disney Co , had earlier said it would separate the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, its sports channels FS1 and FS2 and the Big Ten Network, into a newly listed company that would be spun off to shareholders.
Comcast also said the offer period was being extended and would remain open for acceptances until Sept. 12. Comcast gatecrashed Fox's attempt to buy the 61 percent of Sky that it does not already own earlier this year and the U.S. cable giant's latest, higher offer, which it submitted in July, has been recommended to shareholders by the broadcaster's independent directors. Under British takeover rules, Rupert Murdoch's Fox has until Sept. 22 to trump Comcast's offer for Sky.
Comcast, which dropped its pursuit of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc's entertainment assets last week after a bidding war with Walt Disney Co, is still in the hunt to acquire a controlling stake in European pay-TV company Sky PLC to expand internationally. Shares of Comcast were up 3.7 percent to $34.66 in morning trading after the results. Chief Executive Brian Roberts told investors on a conference call that Comcast walked away from its bid for the Fox assets because it could not justify the escalating price.
Comcast's withdrawal is a concession to Walt Disney Co (DIS.N), which last month sweetened its offer for the Fox assets to $71.3 billion(54.75 billion pounds), in a bid to unite two storied Hollywood studios and several television networks under one corporate umbrella. Comcast's move de-escalates one of the media industry's most high-profile confrontations, which pitted Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts against Fox Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch and Disney CEO Bob Iger.