Sky: Why Disney and Comcast both want to buy the UK broadcaster

Comcast and Disney are vying to purchase European broadcaster Sky. Analysts say a ...

Posted: Feb 27, 2018 7:02 PM
Updated: Feb 27, 2018 7:02 PM

Comcast and Disney are vying to purchase European broadcaster Sky. Analysts say a bidding war could break out.

Why all the excitement over Sky?

It comes down to this: Sky is a solid European business, and it boasts a huge library of exclusive, premium television content. Big American media companies are also trying to get bigger to help fend off challenges from tech upstarts such as Amazon and Netflix.

Disney had planned to acquire Sky as part of its deal to buy most of 21st Century Fox. But on Tuesday, rival US media company Comcast made a dramatic, unsolicited bid for Sky that could land the prized asset in its shopping cart.

Sky is a leader in pay-TV services in the UK, and other key regional markets including Germany and Italy. It sells broadband and mobile phone services, and it operates an influential news division. For an American company looking to expand in Europe, it's considered a smart bet.

"Any major global player, particularly Comcast, would like an opportunity to get into [the] European markets. And Sky is an obvious point of entry," said Steven Barnett, a professor of communications at the University of Westminster.

Related: Why there's so much anxiety in the media business right now

Ian Whittaker, an analyst at Liberum, noted that Comcast has a presence in many key European markets through its NBC Universal film and TV operation. But Sky would give it "a very powerful distribution pan-European network," he said.

Disney also sees the benefits of owning Sky, with CEO Bob Iger describing it last year as "a real crown jewel."

"Sky is just an amazing platform," Iger said in an interview on Bloomberg TV. "We're extremely impressed with their user interface, their ability to attract and retain customers, the value proposition to their consumers."

Related: Comcast challenges Rupert Murdoch with rival bid for Sky

When it comes to content, Sky's soccer offerings are especially attractive.

The broadcaster recently signed a four-year contract giving it rights to air Premier League soccer matches. The games are considered some of the most valuable television content in Britain, and Sky paid less for them than many analysts had expected.

Sky also produces its own TV shows, and owns the European rights to a range of premium American shows including "Game of Thrones."

Related: Fox News is launching a streaming service for 'superfans'

The prospect of missing out on a good deal is likely also driving the bidding.

"I think Comcast is thinking ... 'We're going to miss our opportunity here', " said Alex DeGroote, a media and internet analyst at Cenkos Securities.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 34211

Reported Deaths: 2125
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9761576
Lake3573186
Allen160069
Cass15877
St. Joseph126634
Elkhart126228
Hendricks116671
Hamilton115493
Johnson1097108
Madison58659
Porter53428
Bartholomew50834
Clark49741
LaPorte43023
Howard40428
Tippecanoe3933
Delaware38536
Jackson3821
Shelby37122
Hancock33127
Floyd31839
Boone31635
Morgan27824
Vanderburgh2662
Montgomery23817
White2338
Noble22821
Clinton2271
Decatur22431
Grant21022
Dubois1993
Harrison19422
Henry17211
Greene16924
Vigo1688
Dearborn16821
Monroe16712
Warrick16628
Lawrence15924
Miami1401
Putnam1367
Jennings1304
Kosciusko1271
Orange12622
Scott1193
Franklin1108
Ripley1086
Marshall1021
Carroll932
Daviess8516
Steuben832
Wayne785
Fayette777
Newton7710
Wabash772
LaGrange762
Jasper661
Washington521
Clay511
Jay500
Fulton491
Randolph473
Rush462
Pulaski460
Jefferson451
Whitley413
Starke393
DeKalb371
Sullivan351
Owen341
Brown331
Perry320
Wells310
Benton300
Knox280
Huntington272
Tipton251
Blackford252
Crawford240
Fountain212
Switzerland200
Spencer201
Parke170
Adams171
Posey160
Gibson152
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0167
West Lafayette
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 63°
Kokomo
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 58°
Rensselaer
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 57°
Fowler
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 59°
Williamsport
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 63°
Crawfordsville
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 62°
Frankfort
Broken Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 63°
Delphi
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 58°
Monticello
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 58°
Logansport
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 57°
Cooler, less humid weather continues Sunday
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events