Cox, Comcast negotiating big content deals
Two big MSOs are in the midst of two big deals involving networks. Cox Communications is set to sell the Travel Channel, and may get over $900 million for it, while Comcast is negotiating to buy a controlling interest in NBC-Universal.
The two most frequently mentioned bidders for the Travel Channel are News Corp. and Scripps Networks. The latest reports suggest that Cox Communications might end up forming a joint venture with the winning bidder, and retain a minority stake in the Travel Channel, in order to avoid a large tax Cox might incur if it were to divest itself of the channel entirely.
Comcast, meanwhile, continues to negotiate with General Electric to buy a 51 percent interest in NBC Universal, at a price that various reports peg at between $4 billion and $6 billion, plus a couple of Comcast’s current network channels.
The deal is complex, and includes another company, Vivendi, which currently holds a 20 percent stake in NBC Universal. Vivendi reportedly has veto power over the deal.
Comcast attempted to buy Disney in 2004.