Hulu has been removed from India’s Disney+ Hotstar, which is surprising as the streaming service was only recently added earlier this month. The Hulu Hub on Disney+ Hotstar in India has now vanished. Disney bought Hulu in 2019 and this was Hulu’s first venture into international streaming.
There is no clear reason why the Hulu Hub has disappeared, though it could possibly be in connection with the ongoing dispute between Disney and Comcast over Hulu rights. Disney owns two-thirds of Hulu, and Comcast isn’t ready to sell its remaining shares without a full reassessment of the streaming service’s worth.
Hulu is currently valued at $27.5 billion. As outlined by the original deal, Comcast’s portion of Hulu totals approximately $9.2 billion. Comcast’s CEO Brian Roberts wants the assets assessed as he thinks the company’s remaining stakes are worth considerably more. “I think we have a very valuable position,” he stated last May.
In 2021, Hulu was estimated to be worth over $70 billion by NBCUniversal, while Disney’s valuation estimated it to be “tens of billions of dollars lower.”
The companies have yet to come to an agreement on how much Disney will pay Comcast for its shares of Hulu but have agreed the sale is inevitable. Comcast has already ceased any payments funding Hulu, leaving its operational costs up to Disney, which already offers Hulu as part of a bundle package alongside Disney+ and ESPN+.
Disney has yet to make an official announcement about bringing Hulu to international viewers, so this could just be some backtracking while the company settles the purchasing details with Comcast.
The sale is scheduled to go through sometime in 2024 and either company can force the sale although both already seem to be on the same page to do so, just can’t come to an agreement on the financial aspects. If Comcast cannot reach an agreement with Disney, an arbitrator will step in to settle the financial disputes.