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BREAKING NEWS: Disney Reaches Deal to Acquire Comcast’s Stake in Hulu

Jason Gurwin

Comcast and Disney announced this morning that they have reached a deal for Disney to take full operational control of Hulu. Under the deal, Disney can acquire Comcast’s 33% stake in Hulu for no less that $9.2 billion in 2024 — giving the company a $27B valuation). Both Disney and Comcast will have the option to force the other to complete the deal at that time.

As part of the deal, Disney will continue to license NBCU content for Hulu at least through 2022, but the content will no longer be exclusive. Since NBCU is launching their own streaming service next year, they will have the option to put the content on their own streaming platform. Hulu will also now become available on Xfinity’s X1 platform. The two companies have also extended their carriage agreement for Hulu Live TV by agreeing to continue to carry NBCU channels through 2024.

Just last month, AT&T sold their 9.5% stake in Hulu back to the company for $1.43 billion, valuing the streaming company at $15 billion. Following the deal, there was much speculation on what was going to happen to Comcast’s remaining 33% stake. With Disney+, their upcoming streaming service, launching in November — it appears that Disney wanted to have full control of the platform, especially as it is expected they will try to bundle the products.

Earlier this month, Hulu announced that it has increased its total U.S. customer base to more than 28 million, with 26.8 million being monthly paid subscribers (and 1.3 million promotional accounts). As the fastest growing video service in the U.S., it was revealed in January of this year that Hulu had 25 million subscribers between their SVOD and vMVPD services, with two million being on promotional accounts.

In comparison, Netflix has over 60 million U.S. Paid Subscribers, but only added 1.74 million paid subscribers in the first quarter, compared to 3.8 million by Hulu.