Disney Buys out Hulu

Elizabeth Kostalnick, Page Editor

With Disney announcing their newest streaming service in November, it’s no surprise that Disney has begun to branch out and purchase even more programs.

As of May 15, Disney entered into a new contract with the cable company Comcast purchasing Hulu for roughly $5.8 billion. Hulu is similar to Netflix, streaming movies and TV show series online.

With full operating control, Disney will have the latitude to set a new strategic road map for Hulu, including launching the service internationally,” said Variety.com article Disney Assumes Full Control of Hulu in Deal With Comcast.

Disney has always gone above and beyond in not only entertainment, but with everything from customer service to even travel around the world. Given their track record and experience with high quality entertainment, Disney seems to have more in mind with changing the format of Hulu allowing the streaming service to reach places now on an international level.

“Under the deal, Comcast’s NBCUniversal will continue to license content to Hulu through late 2024. However, as soon as next year, NBCU will have the right to pull back programming previously licensed exclusively to Hulu (continuing to make it available to Hulu on a non exclusive basis for a reduced licensing fee). And by 2022, NBCUniversal will have the right to cancel most of its content-licensing agreements with Hulu. NBCU is planning to launch a free, ad-supported streaming service next year,” said Variety.com article Disney Assumes Full Control of Hulu in Deal With Comcast.

The purchasing of the Simpsons from Universal seems only to be a gateway for bigger plans Disney placed in their back pocket. From the looks of it however, NBCUniversal seems to be coming up with other ideas as possibly competition for Disney, like their very own streaming service being made to launch next year.

“Disney has guaranteed a sale price for Comcast’s stake in Hulu that will represent a valuation for the streaming-video joint venture of at least $27.5 billion. The companies said that when the sale of NBCU’s stake occurs in 2024, Hulu’s fair-market value will be “assessed by independent experts,’” said Variety.com article Disney Assumes Full Control of Hulu in Deal With Comcast.

Hulu’s valuation increase is just what NBCU said would be perfect for them. And while yes this may be seen as an unnecessary purchase for Disney, since when has Disney not gone above and beyond in terms of entertainment. Afterall, they currently have 6 Disney Parks across the entire world.

Currently, Disney now has a streaming service ESPN + allowing subscribers to watch any sports games streamed on what previously was on cable network. The creation of Disney + launching in November will now be featuring Disney films, including all Marvel and Star Wars films, as well as old TV shows. CEO Bob Iger explained that the purchase of Hulu now allows for the expansion of their creative platform creating a trifecta that consumers can now buy into.

“This video trifecta gives Disney the ability “to completely integrate Hulu into our direct-to-consumer business and leverage the full power of The Walt Disney Company’s brands and creative engines to make the service even more compelling and a greater value for consumers,” Disney CEO Robert Iger said in a statement Tuesday. He delved more deeply into the potentials later Tuesday morning in an interview at an event hosted by tech research firm MoffettNathanson. The deal has “a lot of synergies involved with it,” Iger said. “We’ll be able to manage customers across all platforms … giving the consumer the ability to buy one, two or three of them,” said USA Today article Disney Takes Over Hulu. What it means for cord cutters, binge watchers? Change is coming.

Overall, this change will hardly be noticeable to consumers and will ultimately add more to Disney’s new apparent reach into the streaming services once only dominated by Netflix.