Disney now has control of Hulu
According to Variety, Disney has reached an agreement with Comcast where Disney will take full operational control of Hulu, immediately, and will buy Comcast’s Hulu stake for $5.8 billion within five years. However, Comcast/NBCUniversal will keep it’s 33% ownership interest but starting in early January 2024, Comcast can “require Disney to buy NBCU’s interest in Hulu. By the same token, Disney can require NBCU to sell its interest to Disney for its fair market value at that time, the companies announced Tuesday.” The “fair-market” value will be “assessed by independent experts.”
What does this mean for NBCUniversal Content?
With this new deal Comcast’s NBCUniversal will continue to license their content to Hulu through 2024. As of next year NBCUniversal will have the right to take back previously licensed programming that was exclusively on Hulu. It can remain on Hulu on a nonexclusive basis in return for a reduced licensing fee.
By the end of 2022 NBCUniversal will have the right to cancel most of its content agreements with Hulu. This is imporatant because NBCUniversal is also planning on launching a free, ad-supported streaming service. (I think it’s getting ridiculous with all these streaming services.)
So for now and until 2022 the NBCUniversal content appears to be staying on Hulu, but then moving to their service. Disney will be launching their streaming service, Disney+, on November 12, 2019. Now they will also have the Hulu space as well.
Previously, Disney was talking about offering package deals on Disney+, Hulu and ESPN, but they didn’t have full control over Hulu at the time. It appears that they will probably go that route now as they have taken over the platform.
It will be interesting to see how customers react to all these new “streaming services” as time goes on. Most people cut the cord with cable or satellite television to save money with streaming. As more and more channels pull to create their own versions of networks the value will disappear and I’m interested to see if people continue to pay for these or if they will go the way of NBCU with free, ad-based channels.
What do you think? Comment and let us know!