Less than two weeks after CNBC reported that the Walt Disney Company approached 21st Century Fox about an acquisition of its entertainment assets, Verizon and Comcast are both expressing interest, according to reports from The Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: Some media experts believe that the CNBC story was used a signal from Fox executives to potential buyers that it was interested dumping its entertainment assets to focus on its global news and sports properties. Both Comcast and Verizon have made major investments in content companies in an effort to scale their digital audiences, primarily through video on mobile.

Go deeper: The Fox acquisition would be noteworthy given its size ($50 billion + market cap) and given the regulatory environment a deal would be met with. The DOJ's antitrust division is currently weighing a lawsuit against AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner, and AT&T may take the issue to court.

  • Comcast owns NBC Universal, and its entertainment assets, and is an investor in several other content companies, like Buzzfeed, Vox and Axios.
  • Verizon acquired Oath earlier this year, which includes media properties like AOL, HuffPo, Yahoo and more. Oath CEO Tim Armstrong has been vocal about how the merger would give the company the scale in user data it would need to take on Google and Facebook's advertising business.

Fox Chief Executive James Murdoch brushed off any rumors that Fox was concerned about not having the scale to compete with other entertainment brands on last week's earnings call to investors. "We recognize there'll be challenges to navigate the shifting digital landscape; however, we believe the unique strength and scale of these franchises make the next few years a period of great opportunity," Mudroch said. Still, an entertainment business is tough to sustain in an era where on-demand entertainment viewing is dominated by streaming services, particularly Netflix.

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Updated 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"— COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19.
  3. World: Italy tightens restrictions Spain declares new state of emergency.
Updated 26 mins ago - Health

13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

13 states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project (CTP) and state health departments. Kansas, Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming surpassed records from the previous week.

The big picture: The pandemic is getting worse again across the country, and daily coronavirus cases have risen in the U.S. for six straight weeks, according to a seven-day average tracked by Axios. The U.S. reported over 80,000 new cases on both Friday and Saturday.

Senate advances Amy Coney Barrett nomination, setting up final confirmation vote

Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images

The Senate voted 51-48 on Sunday to advance the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, setting up a final confirmation vote for Monday.

Why it matters: It's now virtually inevitable that the Senate will vote to confirm President Trump's third Supreme Court nominee before the election, which is just nine days away.