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Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Comcast Corporation has agreed to sell its 33% stake in Hulu to the Walt Disney Company in five years, the companies announced Tuesday ahead of Disney's "UpFront" presentation to advertising executives in New York.

Why it matters: The deal means that Disney will become the full owner of Hulu. The entertainment giant will gain full operational control of the streaming service immediately.

Details: Per the agreement, Comcast can sell the company at a valuation of either $27.5 billion or whatever Hulu is worth in next five years. Disney says it will pay for all of Hulu's content in the interim.

  • Comcast has agreed to license its NBCUniversal content to Hulu and Hulu Live TV for NBCUniversal channels until late 2024.
  • It has agreed to distribute Hulu on its Xfinity X1 platform, which is a streaming-friendly version of its Pay-TV package.
  • NBCUniversal can terminate most of its content license agreements with Hulu in three years’ time. It has the right to put all of its content that's currently licensed to Hulu on its own OTT service in a year, in return for reducing the license fee that Hulu will have to pay NBC.

Background: Hulu was originally owned by 4 companies: AT&T (10%); Fox (30%); Disney (30%); Comcast/NBCUniversal (30%).

  • Disney received Fox's 30% stake in the company when it purchased the majority of 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets last year.
  • AT&T sold its 9.5% stake in Hulu back into the company's joint venture in April, which included Disney and Comcast.
  • Rumors have been swirling for months that Comcast would sell its remaining stake in the streamer to Disney.

The big picture: The full acquisition of Hulu is part of Disney's long-term plan to build a streaming network that combined could offer consumers an attractive alternative to Netflix.

  • Disney executives said during an investor presentation last month that it plans to offer a bundled subscription option to its streaming services, which include Disney+, set to debut next fall, and ESPN+, which launched last year.

Go deeper

Janet Yellen confirmed as Treasury secretary

Janet Yellen. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Senate voted 84-15 to confirm Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary on Monday.

Why it matters: Yellen is the first woman to serve as Treasury secretary, a Cabinet position that will be crucial in helping steer the country out of the pandemic-induced economic crisis.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Scoop: Red Sox strike out on deal to go public

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The parent company of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool F.C. has ended talks to sell a minority ownership stake to RedBall Acquisition, a SPAC formed by longtime baseball executive Billy Beane and investor Gerry Cardinale, Axios has learned from multiple sources. An alternative investment, structured more like private equity, remains possible.

Why it matters: Red Sox fans won't be able to buy stock in the team any time soon.

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