Sounds crazy but a new report by media analyst Tony Wible of Janney Capital Markets suggests that a merger between media giants
"However improbable it may seem, one cannot overlook this mega deal given its immense financial benefits that dovetail with a number of strategic benefits like the added sports rights, studio market share, TV production synergies, large content library, news programing synergies, distribution savings, and brand compatibility," Wible wrote.
Given all the consolidation on the distribution side —
Time Warner has been shedding non-TV and movie assets for some time and later this year its magazine unit,
On their own, Fox and Time Warner are already giants. Both have powerful movie studios and
Time Warner has lots of sports on its Turner channnels, including professional baseball and basketball. Fox could use more sports for its Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 channels. Putting the Turner sports products on Fox Sports outlets could instantly make those networks a more viable competitor to
Such a deal would certainly raise a lot of eyebrows but there are not a lot of regulatory hurdles currently on the books to be overcome. The
While the idea of Fox News and CNN being under the same roof may sound absurd, there is no FCC rule that specifically says one company can't own two competing news channels with extremely different perspectives. Still, their combined market share would be a concern to regulators and could trigger alarm bells.
Of course, assets that stood in the way of the greater goal could also be sold or spun off.
Despite the lack of obvious regulatory roadblocks, media watchdogs would probably ferociously fight such a merger, contending that it would put too much power over content in one company's hands. Consumer activists and media watchdogs have little love for big media in general and even less for 21st Century Fox Chairman
Besides a 21st Century Fox-Time Warner combination, Wible suggests that