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Brian Roberts’ One That Got Away

Brian Roberts
Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Dylan Byers
May 20, 2022

For the last four years, What’s Brian Roberts going to buy has been a perennial parlor game question among the Sun Valley set. It all started in 2018, when the Comcast-NBCUniversal chief tried and failed to intercept Bob Iger‘s takeover of the Fox entertainment assets and settled for Sky, instead. The question came up again last year, when David Zaslav masterfully executed his stealth merger with WarnerMedia. The former Time Warner media assets, after all, would have been a boon to NBCUniversal, helping them compete more aggressively with Netflix, Disney, et al. And the question came up again this year after Microsoft C.E.O. Satya Nadella agreed to pay $69 billion for Activision Blizzard, an asset that would have provided NBCU with a massive infusion of new I.P. and immediate entry into the highly lucrative gaming space.