January 11, 2019 / 1:39 PM / 8 days ago

Fox says no plans to bid for sports networks Disney may sell

FILE PHOTO: The Twenty-First Century Fox Studios logo is seen in Los Angeles, California U.S. November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

(Reuters) - Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA.O) said on Friday it does not plan to bid for any of the regional sports networks that Walt Disney Co may need to sell to win U.S. Justice Department's approval for its purchase of Fox's film and TV assets. (bit.ly/2CisCxJ)

Fox Chairman Lachlan Murdoch said in November it was still an “open question” whether the company will buy back the regional sports networks it sold to Disney (DIS.N) in July as part of the $71 billion deal.

Disney won a bidding war last year against cable company Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) to acquire Fox’s assets. But the U.S. Justice Department has said Disney, which owns cable sports network ESPN, must divest Fox’s 22 networks that provide sports programming for regional and local markets.

After the Disney sale is completed, Fox will carve out a new company, including Fox News, Business, Sports and the Broadcasting Company which it expects to have annual revenue of around $10 billion.

Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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