As part of a buyout move that has been underway for several months, Disney will soon purchase Comcast’s 33% stake in Hulu, becoming the sole owner of the popular streaming service.
The Walt Disney Co., which already owns the other two-thirds of Hulu due to its 2019 purchase of 20th Century Fox, made an announcement today that updates the timeline of its acquisition. In the statement, Disney said it expected to pay about $8.61 billion for Comcast Corp’s NBC Universal. The purchase amount is to be based on an assessment of Hulu’s value made on September 30, 2023.
The deal, which took place in 2019, was based on Hulu’s then-appraised fair value of $27.5 billion. Although the deal process will begin on December 1, 2023, the ink is not expected to dry until 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 much 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 to be the stronger of these two services, although it has not released any numbers since July 2022, when it had just over 5 million subscribers.
The acquisition will give Disney full ownership of one of the most popular cable TV alternative streaming bundles, which includes various combinations of Disney+, Hulu, and Disney-owned ESPN+.
Disney bundles include:
- Disney Bundle Duo Basic (Disney+ with ads and Hulu with ads) for $10 per month.
- Disney Bundle Trio Basic (Disney+ with ads, Hulu with ads, and ESPN+ with ads) for $15 per month.
- Disney Bundle Trio Premium (Disney+ without commercials, Hulu without commercials, and ESPN+ with commercials) for $25 per month.