All around, Hulu is an incredible streaming service. Between the next-day episodes from network television, its wide variety of complete series and well-rounded collection of original and licensed movies, it’s the icon I gravitate to the most when I’m looking for something to watch. But now I wonder if my opinion on the streaming service will change following some big news about the platform just coming through. The Walt Disney Company has decided to purchase the remaining stake in Hulu from Comcast’s NBCUniversal.
The House of Mouse reportedly made the deal to pay NBCU $8.61 billion for the company’s one-third stake in Hulu by December 1, via The Walt Disney Company website. The arrangement comes following Disney acquiring two-thirds of Hulu’s stake back in 2019 during Disney and Fox's merger.
The price Disney will pay to Comcast has not been etched in stone, as the company has agreed to an appraisal process where Hulu’s equity fair value will be assessed as of September 30, 2023 before the transaction amount is officially determined. Per Disney’s announcement, Hulu had a floor value of $27.5 billion when Disney and Comcast entered into its updated Hulu contract in 2019. Following the appraisal process, Hulu is expected to be completely owned by Disney within the 2024 calendar year.
What's Coming To Hulu
While there was a time when NBC and Universal content had a major presence on Hulu, much of that content has already been moved for those with a Peacock subscription to enjoy. For example, I can remember tuning into The Voice on Hulu in the past, but that series has since moved to Universal’s own streaming platform. For the time being, there are some movies from Universal Pictures available to stream on Hulu, but upon further digging, it’s the matter of a dozen movies. It looks like Universal has already been cleaning house to give its own streaming service the most content, anyway.
That being said, as a Disney+ subscriber as well, it does feel redundant that I’ll soon be paying a monthly fee to the same company twice between Disney+ and Hulu. It'd be three times over if you also bundle with ESPN+. The House of Mouse has been splitting up its content between the two services as is, but some titles can actually be found on both services at the same time, such as the latest season of Dancing With The Stars, which recently had Alyson Hannigan doing a Buffy and Twilight mashup.
While it doesn’t look like Disney’s full-stake purchase of Hulu will greatly affect the content that’s already on the streaming service, with every changing of the guard, I get worried about what shifts and re-branding will follow. I haven’t been a fan of Netflix’s recent price hikes or user crackdowns or WarnerMedia’s Max cutting shows like Westworld from its platform following its merger with Discovery.
Here’s hoping Hulu will remain my favorite streaming service with Walt Disney’s massive purchase. Please don’t ruin my shows like Only Murders in the Building or The Bear, Mickey!