Twenty-First Century Fox, the media company controlled by the Murdoch family, favors selling some assets to Walt Disney Co as it is a better strategic fit and presents fewer regulatory hurdles, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.
However, no deal between Disney and Fox is imminent and several issues have yet to be fully negotiated, the sources said.
Disney would acquire most of 21st Century Fox, and what's left over at Fox would be "tightly focused on news and sports".
Shares of 21st Century Fox rose 73 cents to $28.85 in midday trading after CNBC reported this morning that a deal could be announced as early as next week. The talks don't include Fox News, the Fox broadcast network or the Fox Sports 1 channel.
In addition to Disney and Comcast, both Sony and Verizon Communications have been previously named as potential suitors. Disney doesn't sell TV services directly to consumers in the USA chief executive officer Robert Iger has had success acquiring movie studios such as Pixar Animation and Lucasfilm and a Fox deal could give Disney a controlling stake in the Hulu video-streaming service. Combined, Disney and Fox would control almost 33% of this year's box office revenues, and that's before Disney has even released "Star Wars: The Last Jedi", a film that is tracking toward a $200 million opening weekend in the US when it's released later this month.