Comcast has officially dropped out of the running for 21st Century Fox assets, saying in a statement that it did not receive the “level of engagement” it believed necessary to make a serious offer, and clearing a path for The Walt Disney Co. to make a bid for the properties later this week.
The news was first reported by Reuters.
Comcast has been in talks for weeks about purchasing a mix of assets including the 20th Century Fox film and TV production studios, cable channels FX and National Geographic and Fox’s 39% interest in European satellite TV company Sky. Those are the same assets being pursued by Disney, and now with Comcast out of the picture, the programmer could strike a deal for the assets later this week.
“When a set of assets like 21st Century Fox’s becomes available, it’s our responsibility to evaluate if there’s a strategic fit that could benefit our company and our shareholders,” Comcast said in a statement. “That’s what we tried to do and we are no longer engaged in the review of those assets. We never got the level of engagement needed to make a definitive offer.”