, the biggest cable operator in the US, confirmed it's close to a bid to buy .
The company announced its intentions in a press release Wednesday, signaling a potential effort to swipe the programmer from fellow media titan . signed a deal in December to buy major parts of Fox in a $52.4 billion all-stock arrangement, at the time a stunning illustration of the lengths Hollywood companies would go to join forces against growing competition from digital heavyweights such as and .
It's also the latest in a dizzying period of merger moves in tech and media: In addition to Disney's deal for Fox, Comcastto undermine Fox (yes, the same Fox) to win 61 percent of UK television company Sky TV, and AT&T is trying to buy TV programmer Time Warner despite .
On Wednesday Comcast said it is "considering, and is in advanced stages of preparing," an offer for all the businesses that Fox agreed to sell to Disney in December. It said that any offer it makes will be all cash (Disney's deal is for shares of stock) and would be at a unspecified premium to Disney's deal. Right now it's trying to secure the financing and file the key regulatory paperwork.
Comcast's maneuvers to drum up a competing months. This is the most outright confirmation by Comcast so far of its intentions to swipe Fox away from Disney.have been reported for
Like Disney and Fox, Comcast is part owner of the streaming-TV service Hulu. A Comcast-Fox tie-up would double Comcast's stake in Hulu to 60 percent, putting a question mark over the future of one of the main streaming video services in the US. The businesses at stake also include the 21st Century Fox film and television studios. There's also the stake in Sky TV that Fox already owns and a cable group with channels including FX Networks, National Geographic, 300-plus international channels and 22 regional sports networks.
The consolidation would bring more film and video creation into Comcast, which is the biggest cable TV provider in the US and owner of the NBCUniversal orbit of movies and television.
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