Hulu, the US streaming service owned by Disney, Fox, Comcast and Time Warner, could be worth as much as $9.26 billion (€8.14bn) to the partners led by Walt Disney Co once it wraps the $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox early next year, and in which Disney will then hold a 60 per cent controlling stake.
Currently Hulu sits on Disney’s books with 20 million subscribers and in which Disney’s existing 30 per cent holding is valued at $2.42 billion – and Disney recognised that it had made capital contributions in Hulu worth $450 million this year.
Once the Disney-Fox marriage concludes it is expected that Hulu will have debts of some $40 billion, and interest payments on those borrowings of about $2 billion annually.
Disney explained again in its SEC filing that it would be holding onto its rights once existing contracts with the likes of Netflix and Amazon expire. Those rights ‘hold backs’ will not apply to its DreamWorks subsidiary which is separately locked into an output deal with pay-platform Showtime.
Disney says that ESPN has 86 million US subscribers, down 2 million y-o-y. Back in 2016 ESPN counted 99 million subs.