Amazon, Blackstone among bidders for 22 Disney sports networks: CNBC
By Vibhuti Sharma (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc and private equity firm Blackstone Group are bidding for Walt Disney Co's 22 regional sports networks, including New York-focused Yes Network, CNBC reported on Tuesday, citing https://cnb.cx/2BlKU1H sources familiar with the matter. Disney, which is buying Twenty-First Century Fox Inc's film and television assets, had said it would divest 22 of Fox's regional sports networks as part of its agreement with the U.S.
By Vibhuti Sharma
(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc
Disney, which is buying Twenty-First Century Fox Inc's
The story gave no indication about the value of the bids. Sources had earlier told https://www.reuters.com/article/us-fox-m-a-comcast/comcast-lining-up-buyers-for-fox-sports-assets-sources-idUSKBN1JZ23Z Reuters that these networks could be worth as much as $20 billion.
An unnamed sovereign wealth fund and the New York Yankees are also bidding for the New York network, CNBC said.
If Amazon clinches the deal, it would pay a higher price than the $13.7 billion the retail giant paid to buy Whole Foods Co last year.
Amazon has moved aggressively into TV to bolster its Prime membership service, which offers free delivery and content for a flat monthly fee. Its bid for the sports assets underlines its ambition to take on traditional pay-TV broadcasters in one of their most reliable sources of revenue.
"I've always viewed Amazon's video strategy as having three elements to it – Prime Instant Video, the Channels business and live ad-supported TV," Atlantic Equities analyst James Cordwell said.
"The latter is the least built-out, but the RSNs (regional sports networks) would fit well in terms of establishing this part of the offering."
Amazon already has rights to air 20 English Premier League soccer matches, giving its Prime Video online streaming service a foothold in the most-watched sports league in the world. It also has rights to America's National Football League and National Hockey League.
Sports leagues are anticipating that the big tech companies will bid aggressively when rights come up for renewal in the next few years.
Fox Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch had hinted earlier this month that it could buy back the regional sports networks it sold to Disney.
Fox did not submit a bid in the first round for the networks although there was the potential that they would join in the second round, CNBC reported.
The second round of bids are expected before the year ends and due diligence on the bids begin next week.
While Amazon declined to comment, Disney, New York Yankees and Blackstone did not respond to Reuters request for comment.
Shares of Walt Disney shares were down about 2 pct at $113.16, while those of Amazon were marginally higher.
(Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma and Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Arun Koyyur)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
U.S. home sales fall as tight supply boosts prices | Reuters
France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.