Earlier today, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Disney will become the majority shareholder in streaming platform Hulu.
According to the article, Disney and Comcast entered an agreement that will allow the House of Mouse to become the service’s controling stakeholder. While Comcast will remain in the deal for the time being, Comcast may require Disney to purchase NBCUniversal’s stake in the platform as soon as January 2024.
The deal will see Hulu carrying a $27.5 billion valuation, with NBCUniversal’s share being valued at $9 billion minimum.
The Hollywood Reporter received a statement from NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke, who called the deal “a perfect outcome” for them, adding that the deal “affirms the value of our stake, provides a path to liquidity and ensures our continued equity participation in Hulu’s success.”
Disney CEO Bob Iger also commented on the acquisition, stating that “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 […] We are now able to completely integrate Hulu into our direct-to-consumer business and leverage the full power of the Walt Disney Company’s brands and creative engines to make the service even more compelling and a greater value for consumers.”
Hulu launched on October 29, 2007, as a joint venture between AOL, NBC Universal (now Comcast), Facebook, MSN, Myspace, and Yahoo. The platform added Disney as a stakeholder in 2009.
On December 14, 2017, Disney announced that they would purchase 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion. Following a round of counter-offers by Comcast, a final vote for the acquisition was made on July 10, 2018. On July 27, the deal was approved by shareholders, with the deal completing in January.
Funimation entered an exclusive “first-look” streaming agreement in December 2018, which grants Hulu the first pick on all of Funimation’s upcoming titles, ensuring that FunimationNow and Hulu are the only streaming outlets in the United States who will handle a number of Funimation’s subtitled simulcasts and SimulDubs.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter