– by Campbell Clark

We should all be aware by now of the impending deal, whereby Disney will acquire the Fox TV & film divisions, leaving Fox to concentrate on their news and sports offerings.

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We also know, this is not a ‘done deal’ and remains subject to approval. Estimates have always said it would be at least some time in 2019 before any official approval for the merger is given. We also know that Comcast who were outbid initially by Disney are not too keen on giving up. Comcast are reported to be ready to try and trounce Disney with an increased cash offer to try and tempt Fox to abandon the Disney deal.

However, Rupert Murdoch, head honcho of Fox is said to be more interested in Disney’s offer of stock, which would give him around 5% of Disney shares.

It turns out in a report by THR, that European broadcasting giants Sky could become a makeweight in any deal to stave off interest from Comcast. Fox currently own a controlling interest in Sky and could even have complete control of the stock by the time this merger goes through. Disney CEO Bob Iger was said to have referred to Sky as a ‘crown Jewel’ in the Fox deal. However, Iger could be willing to allow Comcast to pick up Sky in order to ensure their acquisition of the other Fox assets.

Interestingly Sky ownership also comes with around $12 Billion of debt, which if separated could give Disney much more bidding power should they need it to ensure they get the assets they really want. It would also allow Comcast to expand overseas with Sky being far and away the biggest subscription TV service in the UK.

It’s going to be interesting to watch the development of these mega money deals unfold. I assume most of us Marvel fans will be hoping nothing prevents Disney getting access to Fox’ Marvel IP’s such as X-Men and The Fantastic Four.

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