Disney is now the only one with its hands on Hulu’s steering wheel.
Disney and Comcast announced a deal under which Disney will assume full operational control of Hulu, effective immediately. Within five years, Comcast has agreed to sell its Hulu stake to Disney for at least $5.8 billion.
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 nonexclusive 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 for pay-TV subscribers.
“We are now able 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 chairman/CEO Bob Iger said in a statement about the pact.
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SOURCE: Variety, Todd Spangler