Fox’s media/entertainment businesses, which have been rumored to be for sale, could be worth $50 billion in a potential sale, according to one report.
Fox is considering selling many of its non-sports, non-news TV businesses, which Michael Nathanson, senior media analyst for MoffettNathanson Research, estimates could essentially split the company in half -- leaving $45 billion in sports and news assets.
Nathanson says the deal focuses Fox on “live” TV programming -- sports and news, keeping the Fox broadcast network, Fox News Channel, Fox Business and its regional sports networks.
On the Fox broadcast network, total sports represents a massive 68% share of Nielsen C3 ratings among 18-49 viewers. Drama programming is next at 15%, followed by comedy at 6%.
Nathanson says many new virtual multichannel pay TV providers look to broadcast networks, TV stations and national and regional sports networks as essential parts of their network lineup -- something at the core of Fox.
Reports suggest that Fox would part ways with its movie/TV studio, its FX Networks and much of its international TV operations, including its Star India and 61% interest in U.K.’s Sky network.
Walt Disney has been in talks about the sale, and Comcast, Sony Pictures and Verizon are also reported to be interested.
When it comes to Fox selling off its movie and TV studio operations, Nathanson says a changing market situation could make sense for the move: “The combination of time-shifting technologies and the expansion of scripted shows will squeeze the margins of linear networks that rely too heavily on dramas and comedies. .. Fox, due to failures in its prime-time entertainment slate, has effectively become a sports first broadcast network.”
He adds: “In addition, the continued decline of the physical home-video market and potential disruption in U.S.theatrical attendance from increased SVOD competition accentuate the risk to film studios not named Disney.”