When Disney acquired 21st Century Fox, they acquired 30% of Hulu — giving the media giant a 60% majority ownership of the streaming service. As AT&T-owned WarnerMedia is expected to launch their own streaming service late next year, owning a minority share in Hulu did not make strategic sense. So, after the deal closed, AT&T sold their 10% back to Hulu, giving Disney a 66% stake in the company.
Comcast, which owns the other 33% of Hulu, has expressed interest in keeping their share, but recent reports indicate that those plans may have changed. Comcast-owned NBCU is expected to launch their own streaming service in 2020.
On today’s Q2 2019 Earnings Call, Disney CEO, Bob Iger, confirmed that they have discussed acquiring Comcast’s stake in Hulu. “There has been dialogue with Comcast about them possibly divesting their stake,” said Iger.
If they do sell their stake, while Comcast would no longer be an owner, that wouldn’t necessarily mean NBCU content would disappear from the streaming service. “And you can expect if that were to occur, there would probably be some ongoing relationship as a result to programming.”