As part of a buyout move that’s been several months in the making, Disney will soon purchase Comcast’s 33% stake in Hulu, becoming the sole owner of the popular streaming service.
The Walt Disney Company, which already owns the other two-thirds of Hulu thanks to its 2019 purchase of 20th Century Fox, made an announcement today that updates the timeline for its acquisition. In the statement, Disney said it expects to pay Comcast Corp.’s NBC Universal approximately $8.61 billion. The purchase amount is to be based on an appraisal of Hulu’s value conducted on September 30, 2023.
The agreement, which was struck in 2019, was based on Hulu’s then-appraised fair value of $27.5 billion. Though the wheels on this deal will be set in motion on December 1, 2023, the ink isn’t expected to dry until sometime in early 2024.
Hulu had 48.3 million subscribers at the end of the most recent quarter, according to Reuters, compared with 24 million paid subscribers for Comcast’s Peacock streaming service and 105.7 million global subscribers for Disney+.
Hulu is considerably larger than many of its direct competitors. Sling TV ended the second quarter of 2023 with just over 2 million subscribers, while Fubo had just 1.1 million. YouTube TV has proven stronger than both of these services, though it hasn’t released numbers since July 2022, when it had just over 5 million subscribers.
The acquisition would give Disney full ownership of one of the most popular cable TV alternative streaming bundles, which include various combinations of Disney+, Hulu, and Disney-owned ESPN+.
The Disney Bundles include:
- Disney Bundle Duo Basic for $10 per month (Disney+ with ads and Hulu with ads).
- Disney Bundle Trio Basic for $15 per month (Disney+ with ads, Hulu with ads, and ESPN+ with ads).
- Disney Bundle Trio Premium for $25 per month (Disney+ with no ads, Hulu with no ads, and ESPN+ with ads.