Comcast Denies Reports of $16 Billion Merger With ITV

But experts speculate that the company is looking to grow through acquisitions.

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Ever since its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable fell through earlier this year, industry watchers have been paying close attention to Comcast — speculating about what smaller-scale purchases and acquisitions the Philadelphia giant might make to keep growing.

The latest rumor had Comcast buying ITV, the British television network, for more than $16 billion. The only problem? Comcast denies it.

“We don’t comment on (mergers and acquisition) rumors, but the speculation on ITV is just completely inaccurate,” Comcast spokesman John Demming told BizPhilly on Tuesday.

It’s easy to see how the speculation started: Even as it fights to keep “cord-cutters” from eroding its cable business, Comcast has seen strong growth in recent years from its TV networks — including, most prominently, NBC — and it has been increasingly building assets abroad, especially in the theme park business.

There is some disappointment, though, that Comcast won’t pursue ITV: Shares of the network declined after it became known that the U.S. business won’t be making the purchase.

Like what you’re reading? Stay in touch with BizPhilly — here’s how: