Disney to purchase remaining stake in Hulu from Comcast, company announces

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Thursday, November 2, 2023
Disney+ and Hulu to be combined in single-app option
Disney said it plans to offer an option combining Disney+ and Hulu into one app.

The Walt Disney Company announced Wednesday that it will acquire the remaining stake in Hulu from Comcast.

NOTE: The video in the media player is from a previous report.

Comcast's subsidiary NBC Universal owns 33% of the companies' shared stake in the streaming app.

The deal is valued at approximately $8.6 billion.

Hulu began in 2007 and quickly evolved into as a service backed by entertainment conglomerates who hoped to stave off the internet with an online platform for their own TV shows. Disney joined in 2009, planning to offer shows from ABC, ESPN and the Disney Channel. A decade later, Disney gained majority control of the business when it acquired 21st Century Fox.

MORE | Disney to roll out one-app experience combining Disney+, Hulu programming

Disney has treated Hulu as one of its own services for years - for instance, when it launched its own streaming service, Disney+, in 2019 and immediately offered a streaming bundle that included Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+.

Disney has run Hulu since 2019, when Comcast ceded its authority to Disney and effectively became a silent partner.

More recently, amid increasing pressure on streaming services brought on by untrammeled expansion, low prices and widespread password sharing, Disney has promised its own crackdown on non-paying users and raised prices for ad-free versions of Disney+ and Hulu by 20% to 27%. CEO Bob Iger said in August that the increases were designed to steer consumers toward cheaper ad-supported versions of those channels, whose subscription prices did not change.

The advertising market for streaming is "picking up," Iger said at the time, noting that it's healthier than traditional TV ads. "We're obviously trying with our pricing strategy to migrate more subs to the advertising supported tier."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of this station.