Disney takes full control of Hulu


Before Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, Hulu was split between Comcast, Fox, and Disney (30% each) and AT&T (10%).

Today, Disney takes the reins at Hulu.

Hulu's $6-a-month service lets users watch original series and network TV episodes after they air on TV. With Hulu, they will have room for any of the more adult content and expanding library of Fox titles, such as the DEADPOOL movies. Others are more focused, like HBO Now. But what matters here is that Disney will be in full control of the popular streaming service.

Disney, Fox and NBCU launched Hulu as a joint venture in the U.S. more than a decade ago, with Turner later taking a 9.5% stake.

Comcast owns roughly a third of Hulu.

The streaming wars are about to get very ugly, as Disney gets ready to go into business for themselves in that department, which could seriously harm Netflix in the process.

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Comcast is planning its own ad-supported streaming service soon.

But Hulu is beefing up its original content offerings. It's become almost impossible to catch all the good shows out there as they fragment out among different streaming services. And you can sell consumers who want more options two services instead of one. Of the three, only Disney+ is not available to consumers, but the service is set to launch in November. Netflix pays lucrative licensing fees to air shows like "The Office" and "Friends", but it's also a competitor for viewers' time and money. AT&T is working on its own service. After all, a significant part of Hulu's appeal to subscribers is the variety of shows they can access on the service.

"I'm not firmly convinced that everyone going to pull all their content off Netflix and put it behind their walled garden", said Brett Sappington, analyst for research firm Parks Associates.

Disney, meanwhile, has guaranteed that Hulu's equity value at the time of any sale will be at least $27.5 billion - valuing Comcast's Hulu stake at roughly $9 billion. Launching Hulu internationally could be in the cards and help bring in even more money for the entertainment behemoth.

"The move enables an global launch for the service". As part of Tuesday's deal, Disney and Comcast will fund the purchase in line with their respective ownership stakes.

Comcast has agreed to extend the Hulu license of NBCU content and the carriage agreement for Hulu's live TV service for NBCU channels until late 2024 and also to distribute Hulu on its Xfinity X1 platform. The agreement with Disney and Comcast values Hulu at a minimum of $27.5 billion in 2024.