May 14, 2019

Comcast agrees to sell its Hulu stake to Disney

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

Italy reports lowest number of new coronavirus cases since February

Italy’s aerobatic team Frecce Tricolori fly over Milan in Duomo Square on May 25. Photo: Francesco Prandoni/Getty Images

The Italian government reported 300 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, the lowest daily increase since Feb. 29.

Why it matters: Italy, the first country in Europe to implement a nationwide lockdown after emerging as a hotspot in March, appears to have finally weathered its coronavirus outbreak. Italy has reported nearly 33,000 total deaths, the third-highest total behind the U.S. and U.K.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 5,453,784 — Total deaths: 345,886 — Total recoveries — 2,191,310Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,651,254 — Total deaths: 97,850 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: Top Boris Johnson aide defends himself after allegations he broke U.K. lockdown — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Joe Biden makes first public appearance in over two months

Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden made his first in-person appearance in over two months on Monday to honor Memorial Day by laying a wreath at a Delaware veterans park, AP reports.

Why it matters: Biden, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, has taken the unprecedented step of campaigning from his home during the coronavirus pandemic, ever since canceling a rally in Cleveland on March 10.