Hulu has announced it has purchased the 10% minority stake from AT&T (WarnerMedia), for $1.43 billion.
Disney already held a 60% stake in Hulu following their purchase of 21st Century Fox. Leaving Comcast with the other 30% percent, with the additional 10% purchase, that looks to have increased Disney’s ownership up to over 66%.
The transaction did not require any governmental or other third-party approvals and was simultaneously signed and closed.
“We thank AT&T for their support and investment over the past two years and look forward to collaboration in the future. WarnerMedia will remain a valued partner to Hulu for years to come as we offer customers the best of TV, live and on demand, all in one place.”
Said Hulu CEO Randy Freer.
This does leave a question mark over if WarnerMedia content will continue to be available on Hulu once they launch their own streaming service. Comcast have stated they aren’t looking to sell, but now the streaming service is heavily controlled by Disney, they might want to invest more in their own platform when that launches.
AT&T will be using the money from the sale to help reduce its debt following its $85-billion acquisition of Time Warner.
Last week, Hulu was apart of an Investor Day presentation, where Disney revealed more details on its direct to consumer strategy, which includes the launch of Disney+. This also makes shuffling shows and movies around between Disney+ and Hulu, easier to do. Especially as Hulu is going to be the home of Disney’s more edgier content such as shows from ABC and FX, plus movies from 20th Century Fox.
Are you happy to see Disney gain more control of Hulu?