Comcast/NBCUniversal is reportedly holding talks with Disney to see if a deal can be reached that would see Comcast selling off its one-third stake in Hulu to the Mouse House. This would give Disney 100% ownership and control of Hulu.
The report which originated at CNBC (via Variety) comes a little over a week after AT&T sold its 9.5% stake in Hulu for $1.43 billion to both Disney and Comcast, a deal valuing the SVOD service at $15 billion.
On Comcast’s first quarter 2019 earnings call Thursday, chairman and CEO Brian Roberts seemed to suggest the company is sitting tight for now saying: “On Hulu, the relationship with NBC, that is very much in everybody’s interest to maintain and we’re… have no new news today on it, other than it’s really valuable. And we’re really glad we own a large piece of it.”
The CNBC report, however, says the company is “weighing the pros and cons of doing a deal now rather than later” but added it’s unclear if the companies will reach a deal.
NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke said earlier this year that a Disney buyout of their Hulu stake is unlikely to happen in the near term, but as the company is developing its own ad-supported streaming service to hit in 2020 there will be pressure to sell then.
Disney meanwhile is said to be exploring the possibility of launching Hulu outside the United States. The service currently sits at more than 25 million total subscribers.