When The Walt Disney Company purchased 21st Century Fox back in 2019, they did not just buy FOX and its fantastic slate of shows like The Simpsons and Bones, but it also purchased majority ownership in the streaming giant Hulu. Hulu is one of, if not the largest streaming platform around and is constantly creating some of the most in-demand shows, like The Handmaid’s Tale and Only Murders in the Building. The Walt Disney Company currently owns 67% of Hulu, while Comcast — which owns NBCUniversal — owns the other 33%.
According to the contract that was signed during the Fox purchase, Comcast can offer to sell its stake in Hulu to Disney as early as 2024. Bob Chapek made it clear that he wants Disney to own 100% of Hulu, and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts knew that, and he knew that Chapek’s desire to pwn Hulu could give Comcast the chance to drive up the purchase price.
However, Bob Chapek is not in charge anymore.
On November 20, 2022, Chapek was abruptly fired by Disney, and former CEO Bob Iger took over once again. But just because Chapek isn’t in charge anymore, doesn’t mean that a Hulu deal may be dead. In fact, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell thinks that the purchase will absolutely still happen. He also thinks that Disney is more than willing to pay to get what it wants.
Shell recently spoke at the UBS Global TMT Conference and shared his belief about Disney getting sole ownership of Hulu.
“We think it’s worth a lot of money because it’s sold on a full-control basis, as if you were auctioning it off. And I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check for the asset in ‘24.”
Since taking over as Disney CEO, Iger has not really spoken about any potential purchase of Hulu. During a Town Hall meeting hosted by Iger, he did say that he was comfortable with the acquisitions that Disney already has. During Iger’s prior tenure at Disney, he was responsible for acquiring Marvel, LucasFilm, Pixar, and 21st Century Fox.