Disney will take complete control of Hulu, following a deal with Comcast, which had owned a third of the streaming service ever since the House of Mouse acquired 21st Century Fox in 2019. “The acquisition of Comcast’s stake in Hulu at fair market value will further Disney’s streaming objectives,” the company said in a statement via The Hollywood Reporter.
The House Of Mouse Has Complete Control Over Hulu
A securities filing on November 1 confirmed that NBCUniversal proceeded with Disney’s purchase of Hulu earlier that day. “We look forward to the appraisal process and the determination of Hulu’s fair market value, which we expect will reflect the extraordinary value of the business,” Comcast said in its own statement about the deal.
Over the past year, discussions about the future of Hulu have been a recurring topic on Wall Street due to its shared ownership structure and the presence of “put and call options.” From the beginning of November, Comcast has held a put option, which allows the company to compel Disney to take over its stake in Hulu while Disney can tell Comcast to sell.
Hulu Is Estimated To Be Worth $27.5 Billion
As outlined in the mutual agreement between Disney and Comcast, Hulu was destined to undergo a fair market value assessment by independent experts. However, a guaranteed minimum valuation for Hulu at $27.5 billion implied that Disney would be obliged to commit at least $9 billion.
In the filing, Disney said it will pay $8.61 billion by December 1, satisfying the minimum Hulu valuation requirement. However, an official appraisal process will be carried out to ascertain the exact value of Hulu and determine if Disney needs to make any additional payments beyond the initial $8.61 billion figure.
The Acquisition Means Disney Could Soon Overthrow Netflix As The King Of Streaming
Although the exact date of the appraisal is unknown, Disney believes it should be completed in 2024. Disney’s acquisition of Hulu has opened up new possibilities for the House of Mouse to compete with Netflix in the streaming realm. The House of Mouse has already announced plans to combine content from Disney+ and Hulu into a single app in the United States by the end of 2023.
This will provide better opportunities for advertisers while giving subscribers access to broader and more streamlined content. There will also be increased audience engagement, leading to a blended streaming experience. Disney already offers a subscriber bundle that includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, allowing the company to compete with Netflix’s wide range of offerings.
Expect To See More Alien And Predator Projects
The acquisition also means that more non-Disney/adult IP, like the upcoming Alien and Predator projects, will go into full effect on Hulu. There have been rumors about a potential Alien vs Predator 3 movie for years. While there has been no official confirmation from filmmakers or production companies, there have been hints that a new movie may be in the works.
The latest rumors suggest that the movie will take place in the “distant future” in space and will be released on Disney+/Hulu. The next Alien movie, titled Alien: Romulus, has already started filming and is scheduled for release in August 2024. An unreleased Alien vs. Predator anime series is rumored to be completed and stored in the Disney vault.
The Chance Of The Alien Vs. Predator Series Taking Off Is Higher Than Ever
It is unclear whether the Alien vs. Predator series will ever be released, but those involved in its production claim it would have fixed the franchise after two mediocre movies. Disney’s newly acquired Hulu would be an excellent home for the project. Disney’s latest Predator movie, Prey, was released in August 2022 on Disney’s streaming platforms with critical success.