Comcast Now Has More Control Over Hulu




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Back in 2011, Comcast did just about anything to buy NBCUniversal from General Electric. To get the deal approved, they agreed to a long list of government-imposed limitations.

One of the last of these limitations was how much control Comcast could have over Hulu. NBCUniversal was one of the early owners of Hulu, but part of the DOJ approval was a limitation on what Comcast could do with their 30% control over Hulu. Comcast had to agree to give up day-to-day management of Hulu. That left FOX with 30% and Disney with 30%, as the two main companies controlling the day-to-day management of Hulu.

Starting in this month, the limitations the DOJ put on Comcast’s control of Hulu will end. That means Comcast will be able to once again have seats on the Board of Directors of Hulu; however, it won’t get full control of Hulu. Disney and News Corp (FOX) also have management control over Hulu, meaning Comcast cannot just come in and start imposing its will on the service.

While Comcast now has equal control over the Hulu board with FOX and Disney that will likely be ending soon. Disney is in the process of buying FOX’s share of Hulu and will soon have 60% control of Hulu. This means for the first time ever, Hulu will have a majority owner with Disney controlling 60% of Hulu. Hulu has several non-voting owners including AT&T. As part of a purchase of Time Warner, AT&T has a 10% stake in Hulu, but it is a non-voting share of Hulu.

Comcast has not said what it wants to do with its new control over Hulu, but they have been fairly supportive of Hulu’s current efforts. Comcast has made their NBC stations available to Hulu’s live TV service and has brought a lot of their back catalog to Hulu’s on-demand service.

For now, we will have to wait to see what happens as Comcast takes full control of their 30% of Hulu. Remember Comcast only owns 30% of Hulu with News Corp and Disney both owning 30% and AT&T owning 10%.

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