Disney takes over Hulu in a deal where Comcast(Hulu’s owners) has agreed to sell its Hulu stake to Disney for at least $5.8 billion. This is a big win for Disney.
During an investor’s presentation in April, Disney championed Hulu as one of the cornerstones of its upcoming streaming offensive, alongside ESPN Plus and the upcoming Disney Plus.
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What this mean for Disney?
It looks as though Disney has taken the next step to ensure that they will be able to produce and develop more TV-M14 and R- Rated or TV-MA Marvel shows using the Hulu streaming platform effective immediately, with complete creative control concerning Hulu, In which they had already owned 60% controlling stock after the closing of the Fox Disney merger.
Under this new agreement they will eventually own 95% controlling interest in Hulu.
Under the deal, Comcast’s NBC Universal will continue to license content to Hulu through late 2024. However, as soon as next year, NBCU will have the right to pull back programming previously licensed exclusively to Hulu (continuing to make it available to Hulu on a nonexclusive basis for a reduced licensing fee). And by 2022, NBC Universal will have the right to cancel most of its content-licensing agreements with Hulu.
NBCU is planning to launch a free, ad-supported streaming service next year.
“We are now able to completely integrate Hulu into our direct-to-consumer business and leverage the full power of The Walt Disney Company’s brands and creative engines to make the service even more compelling and a greater value for consumers,” Disney chairman/CEO Bob Iger said in a statement about the pact.
Fox Acquisition in play here
Naturally, all of the Fox programs on Hulu will stay there, too. Disney recently finalized its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox, giving it control of every single Fox property. We know that The Simpsons is headed to Disney Plus, but other Fox shows — including series like the X-Men spin-off Legion and comedy Better Things, both of which aired on Fox’s FX networks — will likely remain on Hulu.