Disney will buy Comcast out of Hulu as streaming looks more like regular old TV

Disney is officially ready to take full control of Hulu, buying out Comcast’s 33% stake.

You may have seen this coming, but Disney has officially agreed to buy Comcast’s 33% stake in Hulu for $8.61B by Dec. 1.

An open laptop displays a variety of Hulu TV series on a rainbow background.

Well, maybe. That figure may change following an appraisal process to determine Hulu’s value, last set at $27.5B in 2019, which Comcast CEO Brian Roberts believes is too low.

Regardless, Disney is poised to take full control of the platform, growing its streaming empire.

Then what?

Well, Disney has controlled Hulu since 2019, and customers can already purchase a Disney+/Hulu Bundle for ~$10/month, or add ESPN+ for ~$15/month. So, pretty much everyone expected this to happen.

In May, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced plans to merge the platforms into a single app, touting the “exciting” advertising potential and subscriber appeal of getting Disney+ content (including its Marvel and Star Wars properties) along with “general entertainment.”

  • Such bundles help with churn — especially among users who subscribe for specific shows, then cancel.
  • Experts believe Disney will launch Hulu globally after the deal is complete, something it hasn’t done yet, perhaps to keep Hulu’s value down.
  • Iger also hinted that Disney may sell its ABC network and other linear TV properties, while doubling down on streaming.

We don’t know what else Disney has planned; all it’s said is that the purchase will “further” its streaming objectives — but those seem to be a prime concern for Iger.

(One reason it’s a priority: When Iger returned as CEO last year, Disney was losing $1.5B/quarter on streaming. That number’s now down to $512m.)


… Comcast’s Roberts — who, as mentioned, is hoping for a bigger payout — has said the company will return its windfall to shareholders.

And more broadly, this is just what’s happening in the streaming world. HBO combined HBO Max and Discovery+ into Max, and Paramount Global will merge Paramount+ and Showtime.

As for us? Well, given that nearly every streaming service raised its prices this year, we’ve got a TV-watching future ahead of us that looks like bundling and accepting ads to save money, which is basically regular TV, so… wow, a full circle.

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