Although Time Warner rejected 21st Century Fox's $80 billion cash and stock bid for the company, both investors and industry experts expect big mergers to come in the content side of the media business.
Larry Haverty, associate portfolio manager of Gabelli Multimedia Trust, told CNBC the proposed Time Warner/Fox deal is "basically the first salvo in a wave of media consolidation." Also, last week Discovery CEO David Zaslav predicted a wave of content consolidation in reaction to cable and satellite businesses like Comcast and Time Warner Cable, or DirecTV and AT&T.
The proposed deal—the rejection of which was reported Wednesday—had investors thinking about other possible cable acquisition targets as well, and shares of Discovery and Scripps Networks Interactive jumped higher on the news.
So, what other companies are now in play?
For pure-play cable content companies, Discovery, Scripps (which owns Food Network and HGTV) and AMC Networks are mentioned as possible targets, offering the dual revenue streams of advertising and retransmission fees, which have been on the rise.