Movies & TV / News

Disney Taking Full Control Over Hulu in Deal With Comcast

May 14, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

Disney has solidified full control over Hulu in a new deal with Comcast. Disney and Comcast announced on Tuesday that the former will assume full operational control of the streaming service effective immediately. The move comes after Disney’s ownership of Hulu rose to 67% in its acquisition of 20th Century Fox and its assets, which included a stake in the service.

The announcement noted that in return for full operational control, Disney has entered into a “put/call” agreement over NBCUniversal (a Comcast subsidiary)’s 33% ownership interest in the service. Essentially, Comcast can choose to require Disney to buy the remaining interest as soon as January of 2024. The deal also sees Comcast agreeing to extend their licensing for NBCUniversal content on Hulu and Hulu Live until late 2024.

Disney’s ownership of Hulu has big potential for the service. While Disney already has Disney+ set to launch on November 12th, that service will adhere to the restrictions of the Disney brand which include a clampdown on more mature content. Disney can potentially put its more mature (read: TV-MA and R-rated) content on Hulu, thus ensuring that they have their own outlet for all of their content regardless of target audience.

Disney will also be able to bundle Hulu, Disney+ and even ESPN+ for a possibly discounted rate, something they have expressed interest in doing recently.

Comcast, meanwhile, is planning to launch their own streaming service for NBCUniversal content soon. The announcement noted that Comcast will be able to air some of its own content on the eventual NBCUniversal service, expected to launch next year, in exchange for a reduced license fee for Hulu.

article topics :

Comcast, Disney, Hulu, Jeremy Thomas