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Comcast and Disney Uncomfortable With Each Other Over Hulu

Michael King

Disney and Comcast continue to be uneasy bedfellows in their ongoing partnership in Hulu.

The two media giants are at odds over Disney’s decision last year not to launch Hulu overseas — a move that, according to The Information, Comcast believes undercuts its overall potential growth and valuation.

Some analysts point to Disney’s introduction of the Star and Star+ streaming channels in Canada, the UK, and many other countries around the world, as being part of the issue at hand.

Star exists as a sub-brand inside the Disney+ interface in Canada, the UK, and a number of other countries. In those nations, many adult-oriented programs presented on Hulu in the United States — including titles from the ABC, Freeform, and FX networks — have found a waiting home and a ready audience.

Hulu

Hulu is a video streaming service that gives access to thousands of full seasons of exclusive series, hit movies, kids shows, and Hulu Originals like The Handmaid’s Tale.

It offers the best selection of current TV shows and is cheaper than both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. You will be able to watch most shows from networks like ABC, NBC, Fox, and cable channels like Bravo, USA Network, FXX, FXM, HGTV, and more.

The service has a Limited Commercials plan for $5.99 a month, or you can upgrade to their No Ads plan for $11.99 a month. For $64.99 a month, you can get Hulu Live TV from major cable channels, live locals and regional sports networks.

In Latin America, where Star+ will launch as a standalone streaming service later this summer, in addition to the more mature programming found on Hulu in the U.S., sports programming from ESPN will also be streamed.

According to people familiar with the situation, the issue has put the two companies at even greater odds as they sit in the midst of arbitration proceedings.

The report from The Information indicates that Comcast has stopped paying for its share of the streaming platform.

The current row is only the first round of what many industry insiders believe could be an even bigger fight in 2024, when Disney is set to buy out Comcast, which now holds a minority stake in Hulu.

The price for that stake — at least as of this point — is anticipated to fall anywhere between $9 billion and $13 billion, according to the newsletter.

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