Hulu Co-owners Disney, Comcast Fight To Reach A Deal Regarding Streaming Service

Hulu’s parents, Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) and Comcast Corp (NASDAQ:CMCSA), are negotiating to end their troubled marriage.  Comcast claimed that Disney, the majority owner,…
  • Hulu’s parents, Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) and Comcast Corp (NASDAQ:CMCSA), are negotiating to end their troubled marriage. 
  • Comcast claimed that Disney, the majority owner, failed to launch Hulu outside the U.S., ruining its prospects.
  • In 2022, top executives from Disney and Comcast visited a New York law office to give testimonies in the multiyear battle over the streaming service, the Wall Street Journal cites familiar sources.
  • The parties alleged broken promises, legal threats, and dueling valuations.
  • Comcast can require Disney, which owns two-thirds of Hulu, to buy its one-third stake, or Disney can require Comcast to sell under a deal starting in 2024. Hulu has a minimum valuation of $27.5 billion under the agreement.
  • Comcast CEO Brian Roberts told investors the higher chances of Disney acquiring Comcast’s stake. The company also remained open to the sale of Hulu to any other party so long it gets one-third of that value.
  • The companies look to value Hulu again in 2024 and might include an independent third party lest their valuations do not match.
  • Interestingly, Disney and Comcast have their separate streaming ambitions beyond Hulu. Disney launched its flagship service Disney+ in 2019, while Comcast launched its Peacock service in 2020. 
  • Comcast has stopped funding Hulu amid its legal tussle. Disney has extended the equivalent of a bridge loan to Hulu.
  • Disney CEO Robert Iger is already amid steps to integrate Hulu with a plan to fold its content into Disney+ in the U.S. by the end of 2023—by adding a Hulu “tile”—while maintaining a stand-alone Hulu app which could further complicate the calculation of Hulu’s value.
  • Price Actions: DIS shares traded lower by 1.03% at $88.15 on the last check Thursday. CMCSA shares traded lower by 2.21% at $39.10.
  • Photo via Wikimedia Commons
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