Comcast’s proposed acquisition of the U.K. satellite and media giant Sky could help the company create a streaming over-the-top video service “capable of rivaling Netflix itself,” according to a research note released this week by Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson.
Comcast made a surprise bid for Sky last month -- outbidding 21st Century Fox, which had previously made a bid for the company, only to find it in regulatory limbo without a guaranteed approval.
While Sky is the U.K.’s largest pay-TV provider, it also owns a number of TV channels, and has exclusive rights to sporting events like Premier League football.
“Sky brings with it a trove of exclusive content and rights that could be the basis of an OTT service with a genuine moat,” Nathanson said, adding that the content Sky has access to would give the combined company “the heft and the programming muscle to create a pan-European, or even global, direct-to-consumer OTT service.”
In the U.S., Comcast remains a regional cable provider, albeit the largest cable provider in the country. As other telecom giants like AT&T and Dish test out OTT offerings, however, many analysts view it as only a matter of time before cable companies get in the game. Sky could give Comcast a robust testing ground for such an offering.