Disney takes control of Hulu
May 14, 2019
The Walt Disney Company has revealed it is taking full operational control of US streaming service Hulu effective immediately, in return for Disney and Comcast (NBCU parent) entering into a “put/call” agreement regarding NBCUniversal’s 33 per cent ownership stake in the platform. In the deal, Disney can buy out NBCUniversal’s share of Hulu as early as January 2024. NBCUniversal has relinquished voting rights on Hulu.
Hulu’s fair market value in 2024 will be assessed independently closer to the time, but Disney has guaranteed a sale price for Comcast of at least $27.5 billion (€24.5bn). In addition to the agreement, Comcast has agreed to extend Hulu’s licensing of NBCUniversal content and the Hulu Live carriage agreement for NBCUniversal channels until late 2024, and to distribute Hulu on its Xfinity X1 platform.
NBCUniversal can terminate most of its content licence agreements with Hulu in three years’ time, and in one year’s time, NBCUniversal will be able to take some of the content it currently licences exclusively to Hulu for its own streaming platform.
Hulu struck a deal with AT&T last month to take back a 9.5 per cent minority stake from the company for $1.43 billion.