Comcast CEO Brian Roberts (CMCSA) is pretty confident the company will sell its minority stake in streaming service Hulu to Disney (DIS).
Disney currently owns two-thirds of Hulu with Comcast Worldwide controlling the remainder.
Under the terms of the co-ownership agreement, Comcast may require Disney to purchase its stake in the streaming device as early as January 2024.
“I think it’s more likely than not that we will pass,” Roberts said at MoffettNathanson’s inaugural technology, media and communications conference on Tuesday. “We’ve said all along that the vast majority of cases are we’ll put it down [and] They will contact him at the beginning of next year.
Roberts referred to recent earnings call comments made by Disney CEO Bob Iger regarding “positive[s]of general entertainment, adding, “Part of the account of why I think this is likely the case is that I think Disney understands, as anyone else might, that Hulu is really valuable.” “
Under the agreement between Comcast and Disney, Hulu will be priced with a minimum guaranteed equity value of $27.5 billion (or about $9.2 billion for the 33% stake).
“I’m pretty sure if and when we sell our stake in Hulu, it’s going to be higher than what we have in it. In fact, that’s contractually certain,” Roberts said during a conference call on Thursday.
Meanwhile, “it’s not fully established what will happen” once that deadline hits, Iger said on Disney’s latest earnings call.
Hulu boasts just over 48 million subscribers and hosts top-rated shows including Murder on the Block, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Leaker. Hulu subscriber growth was flat in Disney’s latest quarter.
Iger recently changed his view on Hulu after saying earlier this year that “everything was on the table” regarding the streaming giant’s future.
During Disney’s quarterly earnings call on May 11, he explained, “I’ve now spent another 3 months looking at this carefully and determining the best path for us to grow this business. Clearly, the combination of content on Disney+ with general entertainment is very positive.” .
Iger, who said he’s now “optimistic” about bringing together Disney+ and Hulu, revealed that the company will soon offer a single app experience natively that includes Hulu content via Disney+.
“[It’s] A very strong mix from a subscriber perspective, from a subscriber acquisition [and] from a subscriber retention perspective and also from an advertisers perspective.”
Ultimately, Comcast’s Roberts said he believes selling Hulu “will be beneficial to our shareholders” as the company focuses on its own streaming show, Peacock, which recently got its first exclusive live-streamed NFL game.
Peacock currently has about 22 million paying users, Roberts said, with many of them consuming “a lot of digital advertising” – which he called “most valuable advertising”.
He concluded, “We have been the fastest growing SVOD and AVOD aggregate service and we have a very exciting 2023… We are well positioned as a company.”
Alexandra Channel He is a senior correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @employeeAnd linkedin, and email it to [email protected]
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