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Disney set to take full ownership of Hulu as it buys 33% stake from Comcast

The logos for streaming services Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus and Sling TV on a remote control.
The logos for streaming services Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus and Sling TV on a remote control. Copyright Jenny Kane/AP
Copyright Jenny Kane/AP
By Eleanor Butler
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In an expected deal, Walt Disney will pay $8.61 billion to TV giant Comcast to buy the remaining one-third of Hulu.

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The transaction will give Disney undisputed control of the streaming service, meaning it can be incorporated into the Disney+ platform.

The $8.61 billion (€8.1 billion) payment is expected to be paid to Comcast by 1 December, a sum that reflects Hulu’s “guaranteed floor value" of $27.5 billion.

This “floor value” is an estimation of worth that Disney and Comcast agreed upon in 2019, although a full equity appraisal is yet to be completed.

If Hulu is deemed more valuable by 30 September, Disney could end up paying more than its current offering.

“We look forward to the appraisal process and the determination of Hulu’s fair market value which we expect will reflect the extraordinary value of the business,” Comcast said in a statement.

Disney has unofficially been running Hulu since 2019 when it acquired 21st Century Fox’s shares and agreed upon the upcoming sale with Comcast.

For years, it has been offering Hulu as part of a bundle subscription with its Disney+ and ESPN+ services.

Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger told investors in August that the company was considering launching an app to allow consumers to access content from Hulu and its other franchises in one place.

At the end of Disney’s third quarter, Hulu recorded about 48.3 million subscribers, in comparison with Disney's 146.1 million.

Disney has however faced hurdles this year, reporting heavier-than-expected subscriber losses in August.

In order to ramp up revenue, the company raised the price of its ad-free service in October, from €8.99 to €11.99 per month.

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