Media powerhouses go after big ad dollars for the upcoming TV season

Fox Jumps on Report That Comcast Is Considering Counterbid to Disney

Comcast reportedly making a push for 21st Century Fox, potentially disrupting Disney's bid

The Walt Disney Co. reports after the close of the bell today and 21st Century Fox's earnings report is expected tomorrow.

James Murdoch, the 21st Century Fox chief executive, is planning to strike out on his own if Fox's pending deal to sell much of the company to Walt Disney Co. closes, most likely by starting a venture-capital fund to invest in digital and worldwide media businesses, according to people familiar with the matter.

The assets Comcast and Disney are seeking to purchase include the Twentieth Century Fox TV and film studio, cable networks and global properties including Fox's 39% stake in European pay TV operator Sky PLC. However, if the government does not approve, then Comcast has no intention of placing a bid.

According to CNBC, Comcast's bid would go forward if the United States Government approves AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner.

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The Walt Disney Company and Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc.

Separately, on another track, Comcast and Fox are each vying for full control of Sky and have lobbed in bids.

Comcast has asked its investment banks to extend an existing loan by as much as $60 billion so that it can table an all-cash bid for a large part of 21st Century Fox, according to Reuters.

A venture fund is one of several new opportunities James Murdoch has been considering, some of the people said.

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Fox had rejected an earlier offer from Comcast that was 17% higher than Disney's bid because of antitrust issues. Fox, citing regulatory concerns, turned down a Comcast stock offer in the low $60 billion range before sealing the Disney deal, people familiar with the matter have said.

Comcast shares have been under pressure in recent months.

Lachlan Murdoch now serves as executive co-chairman of 21st Century Fox. The 21st Century Fox deal is their latest battleground.

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