It looked like nothing could get in the way of Disney acquiring 21st Century Fox... until Comcast threw its hat in the ring and started to make offers to nab the studio's assets for itself. The fight for Fox has calmed down today, though, as Comcast (the parent company of NBC Universal, which owns SYFY WIRE) has announced it is withdrawing its offer.
As reported by Engadget (reporting from CNBC), Comcast will now focus on purchasing a percentage of Sky, a UK telecom network that Fox does not own at present. As it happens, Fox is also in talks to purchase a bit of Sky before the Disney deal is finished, so the drama isn't completely over with. But that bidding war is far less interesting to genre fans.
Disney's announcement of its purchase of 21st Century Fox happened in December, after weeks of rumors. They are set to pay $52 billion for Fox and all the assets that come with it, with the big exception of Fox News, Fox's broadcast networks, and its sports channels. For geeks, that means Disney looks to acquire everything from the X-Men to Fantastic Four, Alien, Avatar, and Planet of the Apes.
Comcast came along in June with a higher offer ($65 billion) for the same assets, which just so happens to include those high-profile Marvel characters that the Disney-based Marvel Cinematic Universe would love to get its hands on. The reason Comcast has suddenly dropped the bid is not clear at present.
In a statement to CNBC, Comcast said, "Comcast does not intend to pursue further the acquisition of the Twenty-First Century Fox assets and, instead, will focus on our recommended offer for Sky."
It doesn't get much clearer than that. Can anything stop the House of Mouse from devouring the Fox? We'll have to wait and see.