Early today, we learned that ESPN was expecting major staff layoffs in the coming months. Now Deadline is reporting that Hulu could see major staff cuts as part of Disney’s efforts to cut staffing company wide by 7,000 employees.
Hulu is not alone in the job cuts as Disney is reportedly planning to make cuts at ABC Signature and 20th Television also but Hulu’s may be more significant. Deadline reports that Hulu’s layoffs could start as soon as next week but may be done in waves and not all at once.
This all comes as Disney has a decision to make as time is running out to decide if Disney wants to sell off Hulu or complete its deal with Comcast to buy all of Hulu.
During Disney’s last earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Iger was asked if Disney would be open to selling off Hulu. In response, he said everything was on the table.
“Everything is on the table right now, so I am not going to speculate whether we are a buyer or a seller of (Hulu),” Disney CEO Bob Iger said. “But I obviously have suggested that I’m concerned about undifferentiated general entertainment, particularly in the competitive landscape that we are operating in, and we are going to look at it very objectively and expansively.”
Disney already has multiple streaming services with Disney+ and ESPN+. This raises the question of how Hulu fits into the mix. There have been suggestions that Disney should make Hulu a pure live TV streaming service, moving on-demand to Disney+. There has also been talk that Disney would pull most of its content off of Hulu and sell off Hulu.
There is a good case to keep Hulu, though. Hulu is one of the largest live TV streaming services out there. Keeping Hulu even just as a live TV streaming service could be profitable for Disney in the long run. The question is will Disney be willing to wait for it to become profitable or is Disney looking to cash out quickly on Hulu?
Comcast has made it clear that they would be open to buying Hulu if a deal could be worked out. It is also rumored that other investment groups would be open to the idea as well.
For now, it seems that Disney is considering all options when it comes to Hulu and no decisions have been made yet.