Disney now officially has a home for it’s mature content with their Disney+ streaming service aiming to be family friendly. The company announced a deal today with Comcast which will see cable conglomerate sell Disney it’s 33% stake in Hulu by 2024. However, Disney will take over full control of the streaming platform effective immediately.
When Disney’s purchase of Fox became official earlier this year, Disney assumed control of Fox’s 30% stake in Hulu. Disney already owned 30% of the Hulu themselves, thus upping their control of the streaming company to 60% between the two companies as of March.
AT&T owned 10% of Hulu through their WarnerMedia subsidiary. Following the Disney/Fox merger, a deal was struck about a month later that saw AT&T sell its 10% stake back to Hulu’s new owner in Disney. Thus giving the company a 66% stake total before the Comcast deal. Comcast also agreed to fund 33% percent of the cost to obtain AT&T’s 10% share.
The Disney and Comcast Hulu deal will see Comcast remain on board with the company through 2024 as a silent partner. Though the agreement confirms that Comcast relinquishes their voting rights within the company immediately.
Disney will pay Comcast a minimum of $5.8 billion when the terms expire in 2024. The duo will reassess financials in five years and determine what fair market value for the company will be according to independent experts.
Comcast will have the right to pull its content-licensing agreements with Hulu by 2022 as their NBCU ad-supported streaming service is expected to launch next year. Though Comcast has agreed to has agreed to extend the Hulu license of NBCU content as well as the carriage agreement for Hulu’s live TV service for their slate of NBCU channels until late 2024. They also intend to distribute Hulu on its Xfinity X1 platform.
With Hulu now officially under Disney’s full control, expect the company to use the streaming service as a home for the grittier content that wouldn’t be appropriate on Disney+. Some form a future package deal including Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu is now much more likely.