By: Nick Gambino
Disney’s diabolical plan to gain control of everything in the known universe just racked up another major win. Comcast handed over the keys to Hulu, giving Disney full control of the streaming platform.
Disney gained a majority ownership stake in Hulu when they bought out Fox and all its assets earlier this year. With that, they gained a position of leverage with other stakeholders, namely Comcast. That company owns about one-third of Hulu and so was key in the new majority holder’s plans.
Just this week they struck up an agreement that allows Disney to take over operational control of Hulu, home to shows like The Handmaid’s Tale, Future Man and others, making all of the decisions about content creation, subscriber growth plans, etc.
“Hulu represents the best of television, with its incredible array of award-winning original content, a rich library of popular series and movies, and live TV offerings,” Disney CEO, Bob Iger, said in a statement about the move. “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.”
Up until recently, the next-day TV platform was run by a democratic committee of companies that included Fox, WarnerMedia, Comcast, and yes, Disney. As some of these key players jumped ship or were bought out, it looked increasingly like Hulu’s unique managerial arrangement would be no more.
While the Mickey Mouse company plans to launch their own streaming platform, Disney+ before the year is out, it doesn’t look like they plan to dismantle or assimilate Hulu. In fact, they’ll probably offer a bundle for those who wish to have subscriptions to both. They’ve already laid out a plan that will see Hulu’s paid subscriber base grow from 26.8 million to upwards of 60 million by the end of 2024.
That’s also the year that Disney plans to force the sale of Comcast’s remaining shares. At that time, we’ll have to see what their plans are with the streaming service, but it seems it would be wise to allow it to continue to operate as a separate entity with a particularly unique niche that no other platform provides.
As part of this agreement, Disney has agreed to keep all NBCUniversal content on Hulu until 2024. So at least they’re playing fair in their quest for eternal domination.