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Report: Comcast lining up buyers for Fox's regional sports networks

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

Comcast is lining up buyers for 21st Century Fox's regional sports networks (RSNs) in order to ease Fox shareholders' concerns about whether the telecom giant would get the necessary regulatory approval to acquire Fox's entertainment assets, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: It's likely that Comcast is looking to increase its $65 billion bid for Fox's properties to beat Disney's $71 billion counter-offer. Disney has already struck a deal with the Justice Department to divest Fox's RSNs, which earned approval a few weeks ago. 

The bigger picture: The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Comcast is talking to other companies or private-equity investors that could provide additional cash for Comcast to increase its bid for the Fox properties.

  • Sources tell Axios to expect a new bid from Comcast in the mid-$40 per share range in the coming weeks.
  • The sale of RSNs could also free up cash flow for Comcast, which would be taking on significant debt to finance the acquisition.

Fox originally turned down a merger offer from Comcast last year due to regulatory concerns. While Fox executives have perviously vocalized support for a Disney merger, some shareholders have urged Fox leadership to consider a possible higher bid from Comcast.

Go deeper: Why Fox is a must-win for Comcast.