The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) this week announced it will acquire the remaining 33% stake in Hulu, LLC held by Comcast Corp.’s (NASDAQ: CMCSA) NBC Universal (NBCU). The deal, which is expected to close in December 2023, will give Disney full ownership of the streaming service.
Disney and Comcast had a put/call agreement in place that gave Disney the option to buy Comcast’s stake in Hulu at fair market value beginning in 2022. Comcast exercised its put option in November 2023, triggering the sale process.
Under the terms of the agreement, Disney will pay NBCU approximately $8.61 billion for its stake in Hulu. This represents NBCU’s percentage of the $27.5 billion guaranteed floor value for Hulu that was set when the companies entered into their agreement in 2019.
Hulu is one of the most popular streaming services in the United States, with over 46 million subscribers. It offers a wide variety of programming, including original series, movies, and live TV.
Disney has been investing heavily in streaming in recent years. The company launched its own streaming service, Disney+, in 2019. Disney+ has been a huge success, with over 164 million subscribers. The acquisition of Hulu will give Disney even more streaming content to offer its customers.
The acquisition of Hulu is also a strategic move for Disney. It gives the company more control over its streaming business. Disney will now be able to bundle Hulu with its other streaming services, such as Disney+ and ESPN+. This will make it more attractive to consumers and give Disney more leverage in negotiations with distributors.