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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.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.