Comcast is in talks about selling its 30 percent stake in Hulu to Disney, according to a report from CNBC this morning. The discussions are still in very early stages. Comcast is considering whether the timing is ripe for the sale, as Hulu’s valuation could still increase over time. But if Comcast is less certain about Hulu’s future, it may just wanted to unload its minority post now, then use the currency to pay down its other debt — like that from its $ 39 billion acquisition of Sky, for example.
The report weighs the broader set of pro’s and con’s associated the potential transaction , noting that retaining the bet could generate Comcast a bargaining chip with Disney further down the road, among other advantages. But it’s also ambiguous how much Hulu aligns with Comcast’s long-term strategic plans — especially considering it has plans for its own streaming service in 2020.
In addition, Hulu is expected to generate losses, and won’t turn profitable until 2024, Disney has said. It also plans to expand Hulu outside the U.S ., which is an added cost.
Disney today has majority possession of Hulu, following its acquisition of 21 st Century Fox ‘s 30 percentage stake and this month’s deal with AT& T.The latter examined Disney picking up AT& T’s 9.5 percent stake for $1.43 billion. The AT& T bargain valued Hulu at $15 billion. That intends Comcast’s stake could be worth roughly around$ five billion.
Up until very recently, Comcast was not looking to sell its ownership in Hulu. A Variety report from February like to remind you that Comcast didn’t want to exit the seam project at this time, even if they are Disney was rubbing to buy them out. It’s natural that Disney and Comcast would still be having an ongoing dialog about this, afforded Disney’s ambitions. But the brand-new report today seems to indicate these talks are now of a even more serious nature — perhaps because Disney is upping what it’s willing to pay.
Comcast today supports 17 percent of Hulu’s content, and it doesn’t plan to remove that content any time soon, including after the launch of the NBC streaming service, CNBC said.