Disney takes full control of Hulu video streaming service
Disney has been rapidly beefing up its on-demand video offering as it bids to go head-to-head with Netflix in a battle for subscribers.
Under a deal announced on Tuesday, Disney will buy Comcast's 33 per cent stake in Hulu at a valuation of $27.5bn or whatever Hulu is appraised to be worth in five years.
The two companies also agreed to fund Hulu's recent purchase of AT&T Inc.'s 9.5 per cent interest in Hulu.
Disney removed its content from Netflix earlier this year as the competition among video streaming brands heats up. Meanwhile Apple launched its own rival service at a star-studded event in March.
Netflix currently has a large lead over its competitors after adding a record 9.6 million new subscribers in the first three months of the year taking it to a total of 149 million.
But Disney has an unrivalled back catalogue of television programmes and movies including the Star Wars and Marvel franchises.
Not all of that content will be available when the company launches its first solo venture later this year, kids-focused streaming service Disney Plus.
According to executives, Disney is considering offering Hulu as a bundle alongside Disney Plus and its sports service, ESPN Plus.
AT&T came by its Hulu stake after buying Time Warner, which invested $583m in Hulu in 2016. Now the company, known as WarnerMedia, is launching its own streaming service this year, which will focus on HBO and other shows and movies owned by the company.