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Fox upped its offer for Sky by 30% on Wednesday, ahead of the deal getting the green light in the United Kingdom, which prompted Comcast to counter hours later with a richer $34 billion bid.

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox on Wednesday revealed it had increased a takeover offer for pan-European TV group Sky, valuing the group at £24.5 billion and trumping Comcast's rival offer.

Comcast said its cash offer has been recommended by Sky's independent committee of directors and that it has committed the financing required for the deal. And should Comcast be successful in its bid to overtake Disney and buy Fox, Disney could in turn buy those RSN's and fold them into the ESPN brand.

In the USA, it has been in a separate bidding war with Comcast - the nation's largest cable TV provider - to buy 21st Century Fox's film and TV studios.

The Sky logo is seen on outside of an entrance to offices and studios in west London, Britain June 29, 2017.

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Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice gave the go-ahead to Disney's acquisition of the Fox assets, asking Disney, which owns sports network ESPN, to divest all of Fox's 22 regional sports networks, known as RSNs, on antitrust grounds. A Sky-Fox deal still has to be approved by the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport. Comcast now has a 60-day window before Sky shareholders can vote to approve the deal.

Comcast has said that Sky is very important because it could take the USA -bound cable and internet giant into global markets.

One hedge fund manager with a stake in Sky welcomed that pledge as a sign that Disney backed Fox in the battle.

Sky's shares have risen 95 percent since Fox made its first bid in 2016, and have risen 55 percent in the past year.

He said amended guarantees had been made over Sky News to address concerns over media plurality, as well as changes to the associated brand licensing agreement following responses to the Government's consultation. News Corp., which is controlled by the Murdochs, withdrew its bid for Sky soon after.


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