With the Fox-Disney deal set to be completely closed in about two weeks, Disney wants to have even more control over streaming giant Hulu and are reportedly in active discussions with AT&T to acquire WarnerMedia’s 10% stake in the streaming joint venture.
Disney currently holds a 30% stake in Hulu, and with the merger complete it will pick up Fox’s 30% ownership share. Should it get Warners’ share, that would give it 70% control with Comcast/NBCUniversal owning the remaining 30%. NBCU CEO Steve Burke said to the trades last month that Disney would like to buy them out but he doesn’t think that will happen in the near term.
Under Disney’s control, Hulu will stay focused on adult-oriented, general entertainment fare while the forthcoming Disney+ subscription product will be for more family-friendly fare.
The news comes as AT&T on Tuesday prevailed in a court challenge by the Department of Justice that attempted to block their takeover of Time Warner. It is considered the last hurdle that had to be cleared for that merger.