Comcast officially bid $65 million for the assets of 21st Century Fox on Wednesday.
The all-cash proposal, higher than the expected $60 billion, was about 20 percent above the offer Disney made in December, and it included added incentives. Comcast said it would reimburse Disney $1.5 billion of the $2.5 billion breakup fee Disney would have to pay.
Daniel Ives, the chief strategy officer and head of technology research at GBH Insights, said this offer won't be the last blow in the fight for Fox.
"Right now you have a UFC match going on between Comcast and Disney," he said in an interview Wednesday with Cheddar just after news of Comcast's offer. "I'd expect Disney to come back with another offer in the next 48 hours."
Ives said Disney can't afford to lose Fox to Comcast, and ultimately the deal might get done "in the high $60 ー $70 billion" range.
"You knew a bid was coming after the green light yesterday for AT&T, but this is a good offer," he said.
Comcast's offer comes a day after a U.S. judge ruled in favor of AT&T in its proposed acquisition of Time Warner, a decision thought to open the door for other mega-mergers in the media industry.
Internet providers and cable distributors are looking for more revenue streams to compete with streaming companies such as Netflix and Amazon, which create their own content.
But regulators have criticized consolidation of media assets. The Justice Department sued to block AT&T's $85 billion deal last November, citing concerns over the telecom company owning DirecTV and Time Warner. The judge ruled Tuesday that the government didn't sufficiently make its case that a tie-up would stifle competition or harm consumers.
Before the ruling, Comcast had said it was preparing an offer for Fox if the judge decided in AT&T's favor. Its all-cash offer was considerably more than the $52.4 billion in stock Disney bid last year.
The winning suitor will gain control of Fox's film and TV studios, including rights to the X-Men, Avatar, and Simpsons franchises; its stake in Hulu; and cable channels including FX.
"Now you've got a battle royale on our hands for these assets," said Ives.
Fox had rebuffed an earlier offer from Comcast, even though it was higher than Disney's. But Rich Greenfield, an analyst with BTIG, told Cheddar last week that Rupert Murdoch, who controls Fox, was open to deals other than Disney.
For the full interview, click here,