Disney took one more small step toward full domination of the entire entertainment industry today, thanks to a new deal with Comcast, they now have “full operational control” of the Hulu streaming service.
Variety reported today that Disney and Comcast announced a deal under which Disney will assume full operational control of Hulu, effective immediately. Within five years, Comcast has agreed to sell its full stake to Disney for at least $5.8 billion.
Comcast’s NBCUniversal division will continue to license content to Hulu through the year 2024. However, as soon as 2020, NBCUniversal can pull programming that was previously exclusive to the service. The studio can cancel most of its content-licensing agreements with Hulu as soon as 2022, if it wishes to do so.
NBCUniversal (along with every other media entity I can think of) is working to launch its own streaming service sometime in the next few years. Today’s deals gives NBCUniversal the right to keep its shows on Hulu on a non-exclusive basis for a reduced fee, while also carrying them on their own streaming service.
Disney has previously stated that it plans to keep Hulu as is and will be focusing on its upcoming Disney+ streaming service (which should be the final piece of its plan for world domination.) Disney CEO Bob Iger says today’s move will create an “even more compelling” service.
“We are now able to completely integrate Hulu into our direct-to-consumer business and leverage the full power of The Walt Disney Company’s brands and creative engines to make the service even more compelling and a greater value for consumers,” Disney chairman/CEO Bob Iger said in a statement about the pact.