With Disney’s purchase of Fox almost complete, Disney is apparently in talks with AT&T to purchase the 10% stake it owns in Hulu, according to Variety. AT&T obtained its share in Hulu when it purchased WarnerMedia, which is also getting ready to launch its own streaming service later this year featuring content from Warner Brothers and other content providers.
The 10% stake of Hulu is worth an estimated $930 million and doesn’t come with any voting power. Currently Disney own 30%, Fox owns 30% and Comcast/Universal owns 30%, so once the sale of Fox is finished and if Disney purchase the 10% from AT&T, it would give it 70% of the business.
Unfortunately, Comcast doesn’t look to be in a rush to sell it, with NBCU CEO Steve Burke tell Variety last month “Disney would like to buy us out, I don’t think anything’s going to happen in the near term.”
However AT&T seem much more likely to sell, since the company has a large amount of debt following its purchase of WarnerMedia and back in November, AT&T CFO John cited its minority investments “in things like Sky Mexico or Hulu” as potential assets it could sell to gain working capital and cash.
Disney is taking streaming extremely seriously, as its planning on having different pillars of video on demand, with the family friendly Disney+ set to launch later this year, ESPN+ launching last year and they have plans to plans to take Hulu international and more adult focused. And Bob Iger has said he wants to offer customers discounted bundles for the three services in the future.
Do you think Disney should buy the 10% stake in Hulu?