Disney is taking full ownership of Hulu, setting it up to dominate streaming

Comcast owned 33 percent of Hulu, but now Disney has total control over the streaming service.


Disney is buying the rest of Hulu from Comcast, the company has announced. It will acquire the 33 percent of Hulu Comcast still controls and expects to pay NBC Universal approximately $8.61 billion for the deal, though the final amount will be determined after an appraisal that will be wrapping up sometime next year. As The New York Times notes, the companies had agreed back in 2019 that Comcast could force Disney to buy its stake by next year and Disney could require Comcast to sell. The cable TV and media company chose to speed up negotiations with Disney instead of waiting until 2024.

"The acquisition of Comcast’s stake in Hulu at fair market value will further Disney's streaming objectives," Disney said in its announcement. Earlier this year, the company revealed that it will launch a "one-app experience" that combines Disney+ and Hulu content by the end of 2023. While it didn't outright say at the time that it had plans to buy out Comcast, that was a pretty big clue that a full Hulu takeover was in the cards. Hulu's standalone app won't be going away anytime soon, but its offerings will also be available on Disney+ when the new experience launches.

Disney CEO Bob Iger said when he announced the combined streaming app that it's "a logical progression" of the company's direct-to-consumer offerings "that will provide greater opportunities for advertisers, while giving bundle subscribers access to more robust and streamlined content..." As for Comcast, it already has its own streaming service — Peacock — and has been making its shows like The Voice available to its members.