Disney will acquire Comcast’s stake in Hulu

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In a move that was largely expected, Disney said it will acquire the remaining part of Hulu from Comcast, the parent of NBCUniversal.

Disney already owns 67% of the streaming platform, with Comcast holding 33%.

This latest deal is the culmination of an agreement between the two companies that dates back to 2019 and gave Disney the option to purchase Comcast’s part at the end of a set time period.

Hulu has had several different combinations of owners, including Fox, Comcast and Time Warner. Disney’s big chunk of the platform came from its acquisition of most of 21st Century Fox’s assets.

Disney also owns streamer Disney+ and some have questioned the company’s strategy of running multiple subscription streamers. Disney also owns ESPN+ and sells a bundle of all three services for one, lower price.

Hulu and Disney+ already share a backend system and users can access content from both services on one app if they subscribe to both. The company also cross-promotes its various offerings.

Comcast exiting Hulu makes sense. NBCUniversal launched its own streamer in 2020 and has invested heavily in both.

Meanwhile, Disney has been looking to cut costs across the company. It completed layoffs this year and dropped hundreds of titles from it streaming library in order to improve its balance sheet.

The deal will still acquire an appraisal process to determine the value of Comcast’s stake in Hulu, though it is expected fetch around $8 billion. As part of the 2019 deal, the companies valued the streamer at at least $27.5 billion.