Disney has announced its plans to purchase Comcast’s one-third stake in streaming platform Hulu for an estimated $8.6 billion, a move that will place Hulu entirely under Disney’s corporate umbrella. The acquisition cements Disney’s total control over Hulu, a role it has effectively held since 2019 after Comcast relinquished operational authority, making it a passive investor.
The entertainment giant, which has been a part of Hulu since its early days, further expanded its stake in the platform following the acquisition of 21st Century Fox in 2019. Disney has integrated Hulu into its streaming strategy, including offering it in a bundle with Disney+ and ESPN+ to solidify its position in the competitive streaming market. The purchase is a strategic step towards enhancing Disney’s streaming services portfolio.
Amidst the broader challenges facing streaming platforms, such as market saturation and password sharing, Disney has raised prices for ad-free streaming options and encouraged migration to ad-supported tiers. CEO Bob Iger has acknowledged the shifting dynamics of the advertising market, which he notes is becoming more robust for streaming services compared to traditional television, influencing Disney’s approach to its streaming services’ pricing and ad strategy.
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