BURBANK, Calif.—The Walt Disney Company is now the sole owner of the popular streaming service Hulu. Disney struck a deal with Comcast for NBCUniversal’s 33% ownership interest, effective immediately, that would require Disney to acquire all of NBC Universal’s interest in Hulu as early January 2024 for a minimal value of $5.8 billion, with the fair market value determined by independent experts at a valuation of $27.5 billion.
While Disney now assumes control of Hulu, NBCUniversal content will still be available through the platform. Comcast has agreed to extend the Hulu license of NBCUniversal content and the Hulu Live carriage agreement for NBCUniversal channels until late 2024, and to distribute Hulu on its Xfinity X1 platform.
NBCUniversal will be able to terminate most of its content license agreements with Hulu in three years time. In a year’s time, it will also be able to include content that it currently licenses to Hulu to its own planned OTT service in return for lowering the licensing fee that Hulu pays for the content.
“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,” said Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of Disney. “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 customers.”
During a session at the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit, Iger called Hulu the "third prong " in Disney's direct-to-consumer strategy, alongside ESPN+ and the upcoming Disney+.