Disney and Comcast signed a deal under which The Walt Disney Company will purchase Comcast's 33 percent stake in Hulu in order to take full operational control of the subscription video on demand service. The deal with take effect immediately, announced the companies.
Under the terms of the deal, Comcast, the owner of NBCUniversal, agreed to continue licensing its NBC shows to Hulu through 2024, with an option to pull its content after three years. The provision is potentially crucial to the future of Hulu, which began as a joint venture among broadcast networks and built its audience on shows from NBC, ABC and Fox, according to The New York Times.
"We believe strongly in the direct-to-consumer space and our content is a key driver of that ecosystem," says Steve Burke, Chief Executive Officer at NBC Universal. "The extension of the Hulu content-licensing agreement will generate significant cash flow for us, while giving us maximum flexibility to program and distribute to our own direct-to-consumer platform, as we build that business. Significantly, this transaction also affirms the value of our stake, provides a path to liquidity and ensures our continued equity participation in Hulu's success," Steve added.