The Walt Disney Company made the surprise announcement that it signed a deal with Comcast to take full control of streaming platform Hulu.
Disney currently owns 67% of Hulu and Comcast owns 33%, a stake that both companies had been negotiating with Disney intending to take full control of the platform.
And according to the announcement, Comcast is granting Disney control of Hulu, but will retain its stake in the platform for at least five years.
The deal establishes that in five years Comcast can make Disney buy its 33% of Hulu for a minimum of 9 billion dollars. If the stake were to be valued at a higher price, Disney would have to pay more.
Keeping in mind that days ago Hulu acquired the 10% owned by AT&T for 1.43 billion dollars, all of Hulu is currently worth 15 billion. The deal establishes the OTT will be worth 27.5 billion in five years, almost double.
It’s clear that both companies see a great potential in Hulu, which recently revealed it has 28 million subscribers in the US.
Disney has stated that Hulu is an integral part of its direct-to-consumer strategy, which will have three legs: Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu, which it intends to expand internationally.
In addition to the deal for the future sale of the platform, Disney and Comcast have extended the permanence of the NBCUniversal networks on Hulu through 2024, while agreeing the Xfinity X1 platform by Comcast will offer the distribution of Hulu.
In terms of content, NBCUniversal will be able to withdraw most of its properties from Hulu in three years. Yet, as soon as one year from now, it will be able to offer some of the contents offered by Hulu on its own platform.