The NY Times broke the news Wed that 21st Century Fox made an $80bln bid for Time Warner last month, but was turned down. Shares of TWX soared up more than 17% Wed, while 21CF shares closed down 4.6%. Time Warner said its board deemed the $32.42 in cash per share proposal not in the best interest of the company or shareholders. “The Board is confident that continuing to execute its strategic plan will create significantly more value for the Company and its stockholders and is superior to any proposal that Twenty-First Century Fox is in a position to offer,” Time Warner said. Given the high profile distribution mergers, there has been increasing talk of potential content M&A deals. What happens next? “It is more about the sector than this specific deal,” Bernstein Research analysts said. “The urgency to find a ‘dance partner’ will increase across the sector. Nobody wants to be the company that gets left out of the consolidation wave, and companies would rather control their own destinies.” The firm believes all media stocks will benefit, though it sees smaller, pure-plays such as AMC Networks, Scripps Networks and Lionsgate as the most likely takeout candidates.