16 september 2022 | Trades | CEOs

Possible merging of Hulu and Disney+ services is under discussions in Disney

According to the words of Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek, the company is currently considering the possibility of establishing a single online streaming platform for Disney’s films and television shows in the U.S. through merging of two services, Hulu and Disney+.

During Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s conference, dedicated to media and television communications, Bob Chapek told about the programs existing under the company’s own brand Star, which provide foreign users with the media content aimed at adults, while more general media products of the company are currently in the process of moving to the Disney+ platform, which works within the country.

As it was stated during the conference, the company successfully sells Hulu and Disney+ combined, setting lower prices for such offers. According to Chapek’s statement, these two factors together might aid in getting rid of some hurdles associated with switching between platforms. Disney+ is known for its family-friendly offer, while Hulu provides some films and TV shows for adult viewers.

Any form of merging of said services would involve a purchase of the one-third of Hulu by Disney, while Hulu is currently owned by Comcast Corp. There is an agreement between the companies on the planned acquiring of Comcast’s share by Disney, scheduled in 2024, which would be performed under the condition that the business is evaluated to cost at least $27.5 billion dollars. Chapek expressed a desire to buy the stake in a shorter term.

He also talked about the company’s intention to integrate the data received from streaming services with the information got about their theme-park attendance, which would create a stronger connection with the company’s consumers. Disney additionally provides one more streaming service in the U.S., which is ESPN+ for sport enthusiasts.

Brian Roberts, Comcast’s Chief Executive Officer, also had a word during the mentioned conference. He noted that in case Hulu was on sale, he would express a desire to own it. He suggested that Comcast would have a possibility of getting a higher price for its stake in case the service was sold at auction. It’s necessary to mention, that according to the sale agreement, the value of the Hulu streaming service is required to be evaluated by third-party specialists.

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