Disney is taking control of Hulu today


Credit Hulu

"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", Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement. This time around, it may end up fully owning video streaming platform Hulu - and with a new agreement signed today with Comcast, it may be able to do so as early as 2024 at a cost of at least $27.5 billion. In return, Comcast receives a number of desirable perks, including the agreement that it will sell Disney its Hulu stake within five years for a minimum of $9.2 billion. But when Disney acquired Fox, they doubled their total share, and when it became clear that they wanted full ownership over the streaming service, AT&T sold its 10% stake back to Hulu, leaving Comcast as the final holdout. Comcast ultimately gets at least $5.8 billion for its stake in Hulu, per their agreement. It's also working on two new live-action Marvel series, "Ghost Rider" and "Helstrom".

As to the question of why Disney would want more control of Hulu when they already have Disney+ coming this fall, it's simple: With the purchase of Fox and its many shows and films, they now control content that wouldn't fit on Disney+ because it's too graphic or too adult or just too weird.

Comcast's NBCUniversal, meanwhile, will debut a streaming service in 2020.

By 2022, NBCUniversal can cancel most of its content-licensing agreements with Hulu, which will help as it plans to launch its own free streaming service next year.

Disney's own streaming service, Disney+, is scheduled to launch November 12.

Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a media call Tuesday that the deal gives the company the ability to bundle its streaming services easily, meaning consumers can buy one, two or all three of its platforms. Landgraf said he used to wish FX was its own standalone premium service.

However, NBCUniversal is preparing to stock its own service as the streaming wars heat up.

"The move enables an worldwide launch for the service". Disney has forecast that Hulu will turn a profit around then. Disney agreed to limit future equity infusions in Hulu to $1.5 billion a year and said any needs beyond that would be funded by debt.

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