After the huge Disney/Fox merger went through earlier this year, The Walt Disney Company gained a 70% stake in the streaming service HULU.
Today, it was announced that Disney has entered into an agreement with Comcast which would allow Disney to become the controlling shareholder of the service. The agreement would also allow Comcast to require Disney to purchase NBC/Universal’s interest in the streaming service as early as January of 2024. (NBC/Universal’s current stake in HULU is estimated at around $9 billion.)
Bob Iger released a statement about the agreement saying; “We are now able to completely integrate Hulu into our direct-to-consumer business and leverage the full power of the Walt Disney Company’s brands and creative engines to make the service even more compelling and a greater value for consumers.”
Comcast is expected to remain an owner for at least another five years as they develop and launch their own streaming service and Disney can invest in HULU without being encumbered by competition from Comcast.
So what could this mean for fans?
Many fans continue to be upset at Netflix for pulling the plug on their Marvel Studios shows like Daredevil and Luke Cage. They are also upset that those series won’t be going to Disney’s family friendly streaming service Disney+. This new deal might open a pathway to revive those shows on another streaming platform after their Netflix agreements end. It also opens the door for more adult-themed Marvel Studios or Disney owned content to be produced with a new streaming platform to host them in the way Marvel’s Runaways has already thrived as a HULU original.
Another advantage could be that shows that have yet to find a network home like the Allan Heinberg female-centric Marvel superhero series he’s been developing and the long anticipated New Warriors series could find a place to land with Disney in control.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.