The Wall Street Journal scooped that Comcast has approached 21st Century Fox to express interest in buying a substantial piece of the company. Verizon and Sony’s entertainment division are also potentially interested. All this comes after news broke last week that Disney held talks with Fox but couldn’t reach a deal. The assets available include the Twentieth Century Fox studio, some U.S. cable assets and the international business. What’s driving all this activity? The need for scale and flexibility to push into new digital businesses to counter stagnation in the traditional TV business. On one end, if you want subscription revenue in the digital world you’re up against Netflix. On the other, if you want ad dollars you’re up against the duopoly. A buyer of Fox gets more content that could, perhaps, accelerate direct-to-consumer streaming plans, provide more high-quality inventory for whatever ad-supported businesses you build, and offer a foot in global TV markets that aren’t saturated like the U.S. Caution: It’s unclear which deals could actually go through, given the government’s resistance to AT&T-Time Warner. (21st Century Fox and WSJ parent News Corp share common ownership.)
Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, CEO and chairman of Square, and co-founder of both has been confirmed as headline speaker for this year's Tech Beach Retreat at the Iberostar Grand Resort in Montego Bay later this month.
Other speakers will include Lloyd Carney — CEO, Brocade; Pilar Manchon — director of cognitive interfaces, Amazon; Nic Brathwaite — founding general partner, Riverwood Capital; Paul Ahlstrom — co-founder and managing director, Alta Ventures; Rodney Williams — founder and CEO, Lisnr; and author, influencer and entrepreneur Adryenn Ashley.
The Tech Beach event is returning for its second year and aims to uplift the Caribbean's tech scene to the global stage, while helping to drive a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation throughout the region. Tech Beach is a product of the Destination Experience, which recently expanded to Barbados in October, with plans to include stagings in other markets in 2018.
In 2016, Tech Beach hosted more than 200 tech entrepreneurs, innovators and investors from North America, Africa, Europe and the wider Caribbean, some of whom hailed from companies such as tech giants Facebook, Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, PayPal, and Microsoft.
This year's theme is 10X S.C.A.L.E. — Building the next Billion Dollar Enterprise with particular focus on health tech, fin tech, and consumer tech. Tech Beach will also highlight emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation and robotics, digital payments, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, big data and cyber security.
“We are working to spark an entrepreneurship and innovation revolution in the Caribbean. Our goal is to connect the best in the Caribbean with the best in the world, driving a paradigm shift in the economic outlook of the Caribbean through partnerships and investment. Our summits are designed to serve as catalysts,” said Kirk-Anthony Hamilton, co-founder and curator of Tech Beach Retreat.
Last year, more than 50 per cent of the participants were international and more than 60 per cent reported doing business with another Tech Beach participant within six months following the event.
Tickets for the event, which starts on November 30 and runs to December 2, are available online at www.techbeach.net.