Fox Chairman James Murdoch Tight-Lipped About Disney and Comcast Merger Talks

“There’s nothing to add to that, other than the nothing that we’ve said so far,” Rupert Murdoch’s son says at UBS conference

Last Updated: December 5, 2017 @ 9:58 AM

Fox boss James Murdoch declined an opportunity to speak about his company’s talks to combine some of its film and TV assets with either Disney or Comcast, a pair of possible mergers which picked up more attention on Tuesday following a CNBC report.

At Tuesday’s UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, Murdoch shot down a moderator’s question about the “elephant in the room.”

“It would be wrong to comment on market speculation. We always make a policy of not commenting on market speculation, what’s out there in the press or wherever,” he said.

 

“So, no, there’s nothing to add to that, other than the nothing that we’ve said so far,” he continued, before suggesting that the company was open to exploring all potential deals.

“I would said, look, when we’re running the business — the way we think about the business is really about value, and about long-term value,” he said. “The extent [to which] we change the business as we have over the last number of years — changing the shape of the business is always going to look at what is going to create the most value to all of our shareholders.”

Disney and 21st Century Fox are close to a $60 billion merger deal, according to CNBC’s David Faber. That dollar amount is an approximate enterprise value of the assets involved in the potential agreement.

If this thing goes through, Disney would likely get Fox’s film studio, its cable entertainment networks like FX and Nat Geo, the company’s regional sports networks, India’s Star, Fox’s Sky and Hulu holdings, as well as Endemol Shine Group, among other pieces.

The Mouse House would not get Fox’s broadcast network, Fox Sports or Fox News.

Faber reported that the deal could be announced as early as next week.

The “Squawk on the Street” co-anchor said that Fox is still in talks with Comcast — the parent of his home CNBC — but the conversation with Disney has gone “far deeper and further.”

Disney and Fox did not immediately respond to TheWrap‘s request for comment on the latest news from their ongoing discussions.