Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) are engaged in a supremacy battle. This battle is being fought at the doorsteps of Sky. Both companies are trying to outdo each other in trying to purchase Sky which runs pay-TV services in the United Kingdom and markets and Italy and Germany.
The two companies have been involved in a bidding war for several months. Both companies are trying to diversify their portfolios as a way of boosting their influence in an industry that is filled some giant players like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) among other tech companies.
According to Rich Greenfield, a media analyst at BTIG Research, there is a massive amount of oversea assets between Fox and Sky. Greenfield says that Comcast is mainly in the domestic market, which explains the clomour to expand to other markets.
Disney is also hungry for expansion. Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney last year referred to sky as a “a real crown jewel.”
For many years, American media companies have had plans for international success on their minds. During a recent conference call, David Zaslav, the CEO of Discovery made reference to the Sky battle to taut his company’s footprint in the international market. Referring to his company’s long presence in Europe, Zaslav said that the company has been in the global market for the last 25 years.
Apart upstaging a battle for international market, many companies are also trying to outdo competition by launching new innovative services. For instance, Netflix has heavily invested in its own international expansion program. The company is hoping to have around 80 foreign language shows by the end of this year.
The role of Disney in the race to buy Sky has been unfolding by proxy through 21st Century Fox, which is selling off a big percentage of its assets, including its stake in Sky. Fox has a 39% stake in Sky and reached an agreement to acquire majority stake in 2016. However, Comcast seems to be working hard to cripple this agreement. In April, it placed its bid for a majority holding in Sky in a moves interpreted as a direct challenge to Fox.