Comcast and Fox are in something of a bidding war for the satellite broadcaster. Under the terms of its offer, Comcast would pay 12.50 pounds, or about $16.83, in cash for each Sky share. Fox has offered £10.75 a share. Sky had originally supported the Fox bid, but in April withdrew that recommendation after the Comcast proposal was submitted.
The competing offers by Fox and Comcast highlight the appeal of Sky, which has 23 million subscribers spread across multiple European countries, owns lucrative rights to broadcast English Premier League soccer games and other professional sports matches and has an online streaming service.
For Comcast, the Sky bid offers another benefit: It complicates Fox’s plan to sell most of its businesses to the Walt Disney Company for $52.4 billion.
Mr. Murdoch founded Sky in 1989, and he has long sought to regain control of it. He abandoned an earlier effort to buy the 61 percent of the company he does not already own after 21st Century Fox’s predecessor company was caught up in a scandal over phone-hacking by British news outlets.
Mr. Murdoch, a powerful but divisive figure in Britain, owns the right-of-center newspaper The Times, and The Sun, a right-wing tabloid. In January, Britain’s competition regulator said a takeover of Sky and its 24-hour satellite channel, Sky News, would give him too much control over the British media.