The battle for streaming supremacy has never been more keenly fought, but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. The market leader Netflix is about to face off with the biggest name in entertainment.
As if the forthcoming Disney Plus streaming service, featuring all the Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars content you can handle, wasn’t enough to ruffle Netflix’s feathers, Disney now has full control of US TV service Hulu.
Bloomberg reports Disney has reached a deal to assume full control of Hulu, by purchasing Comcast’s 33% stake in Hulu, which offers on demand and live TV content from many US network and cable TV channels.
Disney already owned a portion of the platform and recently bought Fox to scoop that stake too. Now Hulu is grabbing Comcast’s share of the pie, which will include access to the NBC shows. The $5.8 billion deal won’t be completed until 2024, when Comcast NBCUniversal can sell its stake to Disney.
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By that point, Disney estimates Hulu will have a whopping 60 million subscribers, up from the current 25 million users in the United States.
“We are now able to completely integrate Hulu into our direct-to-consumer business,” Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said in a statement.
According to today’s report, Disney will split Hulu and Disney+ content accordingly. So you probably shouldn’t expect to see content like Sons of Anarchy or It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FX shows now owned by Disney) appear on Disney Plus.
As for Disney Plus, there’s no firm launch date announced yet, but it’ll go live in the United States first with a UK rollout planned thereafter. The headline show appears to be The Mandalorian, the first ever live-action Star Wars TV series.
A reported 8.7 million subscribers could ditch Netflix in favour of Disney Plus by the end of year, according to research published by Streaming Observer last month. Will you be among them?