Disney has agreed a deal with Comcast to take full control of Hulu — in 2024.
The Mouse House revealed this afternoon (14 May) that it will assume full operational control of the Handmaid’s Tale streamer, effective immediately, in return for Disney and Comcast entering into a “put/call” agreement regarding NBCUniversal’s 33% ownership stake in the platform.
Under the deal, Disney can buy NBCUniversal’s interest in Hulu as early as January 2024. Effective now, NBCUniversal has relinquished voting rights around Hulu.
Hulu’s fair market value in 2024 will be assessed independently closer to the time, but Disney has guaranteed a valuation of at least $27.5bn.
According to the deal, Comcast is guaranteed at least $5.8bn for its stake in Hulu.
In addition to the put/call agreement, Comcast has agreed to extend Hulu’s licensing of NBCUniversal content and the Hulu Live carriage agreement for NBCUniversal channels until late 2024, and to distribute Hulu on its Xfinity X1 platform.
NBCUniversal can terminate most of its content license agreements with Hulu in three years’ time, and in one year’s time, NBCUniversal will be able to take some of the content it currently licenses exclusively to Hulu for its own streaming platform.
Hulu struck a deal with AT&T last month to take back a 9.5% minority stake from the company for $1.43bn.
Comcast has reportedly been mulling a sale of its 30% stake in Hulu for some time. In late April, it was reported that the business was weighing the pros and cons of doing a deal now rather than later.