According to a CNBC report, Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) is in talks to acquire the 30 percent stake in Hulu held by Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA), a deal that would hand over complete control of the video-streaming service.
Comcast is now weighing the pros and cons of doing a deal now rather than later, said these people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. It’s still unclear if a deal will transpire. It’s also unclear how much Hulu aligns with Comcast’s long-term strategic plans – especially considering it has plans for its own streaming service in 2020.
Disney today has majority ownership of Hulu, following its acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s 30 percent stake and this month’s deal with AT&T. It is reported that Hulu last week bought back a 9.5% stake from Time-Warner owner AT&T, in a deal that values Hulu at USD 15 Billion. That 9.5% stake will be split between Disney and Comcast, unless Disney consolidates the entire company.
“On Hulu, the relationship with NBC, it’s very much in everybody’s interest to maintain,” Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said Thursday during an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “And we have no new news today on it, other than it’s really valuable. And we’re really glad we own a large piece of it.”
Comcast today provides 17 percent of Hulu’s content, and it doesn’t plan to remove that content any time soon, including after the launch of the NBC streaming service, CNBC said.