Just a week after AT&T sold its 9.5 per cent stake back to Hulu, Comcast is reportedly in talks to sell its shares to Disney, leaving Disney in complete control of the streaming service. Sources close to the matter told CNBC today that Disney, which owns roughly 60 per cent of Hulu, is fully pursuing Comcast’s remaining 30 per cent stake.
Originally, Hulu had been financially backed by multiple entertainment and media companies, but now the only two entities left in the mix are Disney and Comcast. Disney recently bought 21st Century Fox, and in doing so, absorbed Fox’s 30 per cent share of Hulu. Disney then went after AT&T’s 9.5 per cent stake, but AT&T decided to sell the shares back to Hulu earlier this month, in an effort to lighten its debt. These deals have left Hulu valued at around $15bn.
“On Hulu, the relationship with NBC, it’s very much in everybody’s interest to maintain,” Comcast CEO Brian Roberts told CNBC. “And we have no new news today on it, other than it’s really valuable. And we’re really glad we own a large piece of it.”
Disney recently announced its own family-friendly streaming service, Disney+, which launches in November. To contrast with Disney+, the company has expressed interest in keeping Hulu an adult focused platform, with more mature content.