Comcast is Considering Selling Part Of Its Cable TV Empire





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Back in 2018, Comcast’s Chief Executive Brian Roberts got a little bit of advice from a taxi driver – buy Sky. And so he did, eventually outbidding and seemingly overpaying for the U.K. pay television provider Sky Plc, valued at roughly $40 billion.

At the time, Forbes reported this was likely an unwise purchase and an expensive one at that. According to analyst Craig Moffett:

“Comcast appears to be betting that Sky’s proprietary programming agreements will protect it from cord cutting and indeed will allow it to grow its fledgling (streaming) business to a truly global scale. The challenge will be doing so before those proprietary programming agreements expire. Many of Sky’s programming partners, including HBO, Showtime, and Disney, have already announced plans to go direct to consumer in the future.”

The attempt to diversify Comcast’s footprint beyond the U.S. didn’t go as hoped. Comcast bought Sky for around $22.60 per share. In the third quarter of last year, Reuters reported Comcast “took a non-cash impairment charge of $8.6 billion related to Sky assets.”

Comcast may be looking to sell its stake to ProSiebenSat.1, a German media group eyeing the Sky. Late last year, Comcast was consulting with PJT Partners, an investment bank, over possibly selling Sky Deutschland.

It remains to be seen if ProSiebenSat.1 will go through with talks of buying Sky. In November of 2022, the company’s financial chief was wary of such a deal. “We are focused on linear-free TV and our digital footprint. Sky is in the pay-TV business, which is historically a difficult business in Germany,” said Ralf Gierig.

Whether ProSiebenSat.1 buys Comcast’s Sky Deutschland or (probably) not, the cable provider will likely continue looking for a buyer. The purchase didn’t go as intended with Comcast, and they are looking to dispose of its stakes to refocus efforts on more profitable avenues. Likely for Comcast, that means investing more into Peacock and Now TV as it looks to jump into streaming.

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