Disney will take full control of Hulu

Disney Assumes Full Control of Hulu in Deal With Comcast

Walt Disney Co. will take full control of Hulu in a deal with co-owner Comcast Corp. that envisions the value of the streaming service soaring to more than $27 billion in five years. According to the agreement, Disney can demand Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, sell the remaining stake to Disney for its fair market value in the future. But once the entire stake is owned by Disney, that will give the House of Mouse an overall 93% controlling stake in the streaming service. "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".

The transaction, leaving Hulu run by just one media company for the first time, marks the end of one of the most complicated ownership sagas in entertainment.

Disney and Comcast also said they had agreed to fund Hulu's recent buyout of AT&T's 9.5 per cent interest in the company. Reportedly, Comcast is preparing an NBC streaming service to launch sometime in 2020 at a price point below $12 per month.

What happens in 2024 will be the real kicker for Hulu (and Disney). Hulu was at one time a joint venture between several media titans: Disney, 21st Century Fox, Comcast's NBCUniversal and Time Warner (now WarnerMedia).

Comcast is planning its own ad-supported streaming service soon.

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Disney's already unveiled plans to launch their own streaming service, Disney+, which they planned on challenging streaming giants with.

But Hulu is beefing up its original content offerings. It's also working on two new live-action Marvel series, "Ghost Rider" and "Helstrom".

An aftereffect of all these new services may well be the fragmentation of content across services. Landgraf said he used to wish FX was its own stand-alone premium service.

To preserve the ability to run NBCUniversal program on its own service, NBCUniversal will have the option to offer some of the shows it now licenses exclusively to Hulu in one year's time in exchange for lower license fees. In a year, its streaming service can also start offering video that's now exclusive on Hulu, sharing the shows with Hulu for the time being.

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