Disney Seizes Full Control of Hulu in $8.61B Game Changer

Disney Seizes Full Control of Hulu in $8.61B Game Changer

Published: November 02, 2023

In a game-changing move, Disney has struck a deal to acquire the remaining 33% stake in Hulu from Comcast for around $8.61 billion.

This strategic power play will propel Disney into the driver's seat, granting the company complete ownership of the beloved streaming service and the freedom to seamlessly integrate it into its existing Disney+ platform. 

Initially, it was NBCUniversal that held the reins at Hulu, but back in 2019, it gave the green light to Disney to acquire its stake.

In an official press release on Wednesday, Disney underscored the significance of this acquisition, explaining that "snagging Comcast's Hulu stake at a fair market price is a vital stride in Disney's streaming journey." 

This sum represents NBCU's share of Hulu's total guaranteed value, set at $27.5 billion in 2019, minus any anticipated capital call contributions that NBCU owes Disney. 

As per the terms inked four years ago, the power to initiate this transaction rested with either NBCU or Disney. While the exact timetable for the appraisal process remains uncertain, Disney anticipates wrapping it up during 2024.

Disney's grand plan revolves around enhancing the Hulu experience for its subscribers. In August, Disney CEO Bob Iger unveiled his vision of providing a wide array of Hulu content to bundle subscribers.

This game plan is geared towards creating a unified streaming hub in the United States, fusing Hulu's rich content with offerings from Disney's diverse brands and franchises. 

In that same month, Disney reported a dip of over 10 million subscribers on its streaming platform, primarily in India, where the company lost broadcasting rights for popular Premier League cricket matches. 

It's worth noting that Disney initially gained a controlling interest in Hulu through its $71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox's film and television assets, which gave them a substantial edge in the cutthroat streaming industry.

Hulu, established in 2007, was originally a joint venture between News Corporation and NBC Universal. This acquisition cements Disney's domination in the streaming realm, rivaling giants such as Netflix and Amazon.

Edited by Nikola Djuric

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