When AT&T purchased Time Warner, it came with a 10% stake in Hulu. (It is important to note that AT&T’s 10% stake is a non-voting share. This means AT&T can not have a seat on Hulu’s board of directors.) It is reported that this 10% share may be worth as much as $930 million. While that is only a fraction of AT&T’s debt load, getting $900 million from Disney would help AT&T pay off their $175 billion debt.
If Disney is able to close on this deal with AT&T that would give Disney 70% ownership of Hulu after their deal to buy Fox’s share closes later this year. The last 30% of Hulu is currently owned by Comcast and there are reports that Comcast is also interested in selling their share to Disney giving Disney 100% ownership of Hulu.
Disney already plans to launch an on-demand streaming service of their own later this year called Disney+. It is reported that Disney wants Hulu to be a more adult-focused streaming service to focus on an older audience vs their more kid-friendly Disney+ service.
For now, reports are that talks with AT&T and maybe Comcast are still early. Yet it sounds like all sides are interested in a deal that would give Disney 100% ownership of Hulu.
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