Disney Lands Hulu Following Comcast Deal
Comcast and Disney have agreed to a deal that will see the House of Mouse take full control of the Hulu streaming platform.
The controlling stake for Disney comes as part of a “put/call” agreement for NBCUniversal’s 33 percent ownership interest in Hulu. Disney has guaranteed a sale price for Comcast that represents a minimum total equity value of Hulu at the time of sale for $27.5 billion.
Under the terms of the deal, Comcast can require Disney to buy NBCUniversal’s interest in Hulu by 2024. Disney can also demand the Comcast subsidiary sell its stake to Disney for market value at that time.
“Hulu represents the best of television, with its incredible array of award-winning original content, rich library of popular series and movies, and live TV offerings,” says Robert Iger, chairman and chief executive officer, The Walt Disney Company. “We are now able to completely integrate Hulu into our direct-to-consumer business and leverage the full power of The Walt Disney Company’s brands and creative engines to make the service even more compelling and a greater value for consumers.”
NBCUniversal will continue to license content to Hulu through 2024. However, the Comcast subsidiary will have the option to reclaim programming exclusively licensed to Hulu on a non-exclusive basis as soon as next year. The timing of the stipulation aligns with the network’s plans to launch its own streaming channel in 2020. NBCUniversal will also be able to remove any of its content from Hulu by 2022 altogether.
News of Disney’s Hulu deal comes on the heels of its recent announcement for Disney Plus. The Disney-focused streaming platform will launch later this year for $7 a month.