Twenty-First Century Fox in talks with Blackstone to buy Tribune

Slideshow ( 2 images )

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Twenty-First Century Fox Inc FOXA.O is in talks with Blackstone Group LP BX.N about submitting an offer to buy Tribune Media Co TRCO.N, one of the largest U.S. television station operators, sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

Blackstone, the largest manager of private equity and real estate assets, would provide the cash, while Fox, the owner of Fox News Channel and other assets, would provide the TV stations for the joint venture, according to one of the sources.

Another source, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said bids are due on Thursday.

Representatives for Tribune Media and Blackstone declined to comment. Fox could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Financial Times first reported the negotiations.

Nexstar Media Group Inc NXST.O has also been carrying out due diligence on Tribune Media, and is weighing a bid this week, according to two sources. Nexstar could not immediately be reached for comment.

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc SBGI.O is also bidding for Tribune Media, Reuters reported in March.

The potential bid from Blackstone and Fox comes less than two weeks after the U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted to reverse a 2016 decision that limits the number of television stations some broadcasters can buy.

Reporting by Lauren Hirsch, Liana Baker and Jessica Toonkel in New York and Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru; Writing by Dan Freed in New York; Editing by Will Dunham