Does Disney Own Hulu?

The Walt Disney Company was started by Walt and Roy Disney in 1923 as the animation studio The Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio. 

It has grown immensely in the past nearly 100 years, acquiring other studios as well as television networks and much more. 

Hulu is a streaming service initially launched to the public in March 2008. It was owned in part by NBCUniversal and had distribution deals with AOL, Myspace, Facebook, and MSN.

In November 2019, Disney came out with Disney+, its streaming service, making it a direct competitor of Hulu.

Does Disney Own Hulu?

Since March 2019, Disney has held a 67% stake in the streaming service Hulu. At this time, Disney already had a 30% stake and with its purchase of 21st Century FOX, it gained another 30%, making it the majority shareholder of Hulu. The remaining 33% is held by Comcast.

When Did Disney Acquire Hulu?

Disney purchased a 27% stake in Hulu in 2009, planning on joining as one of the streaming service’s content providers. 

It would be another decade before Disney would gain more stake in Hulu. In March 2019, Disney made a huge purchase of FOX assets, including another 30% stake in Hulu. 

Although Comcast still owns around a 30% stake in Hulu, Disney is the majority shareholder. 

Comcast has made plans to sell off its remaining shares to The Walt Disney Company by the year 2024

How Did Disney Acquire Hulu?

Disney purchased a 27% stake in Hulu in 2009, shortly after Hulu’s release. In a megamerger with 21st Century FOX in March 2019, Disney purchased a large chunk of FOX’s media assets.

In its acquisition with FOX, Disney got another 30% stake in Hulu, along with a handful of other film and television networks. This made Disney the majority stakeholder in Hulu.

NBCUniversal is owned by the parent company Comcast, which agreed to give full control of Hulu to Disney in May 2019. 

Comcast still owns 33% of Hulu but has plans to sell its remaining stake to Disney in 2024. 

What Changed In Hulu After The Acquisition?

Shortly after gaining complete control of Hulu from Comcast in 2019, Disney reorganized Hulu’s reporting structure, leaving Hulu’s Scripted Originals team to report directly to Disney Studios and ABC. 

In 2020, Disney did away with the position of CEO at Hulu, to continue to fully integrate Hulu into Disney. 

Disney has refused to allow Hulu to be available internationally since its acquisition, leading Comcast to feud with them over the future buyout price of the streaming service. 

What Was The Connection Between Disney and Hulu?

In 2009, just a year after Hulu launched to the public, Disney purchased a large stake in the company, planning on offering to stream ABC and Disney content on its site.

Disney held on to its stake in Hulu for the next ten years, until its purchase of FOX assets endowed it with another 30% stake. This made Disney the largest shareholder.

Comcast gave full operating control of Hulu to Disney a couple of months later, but still holds a 33% stake in the company.

Even though there have been squabbles between Comcast and Disney over Disney’s refusal to expand Hulu into the international market, Comcast still plans on selling out to Disney in 2024.

Is Hulu A Subsidiary of Disney?

A subsidiary is a company that is controlled by another “parent” company. Hulu is a subsidiary of Disney in that Disney holds a 67% controlling stake in Hulu.

Disney has also been given 100% operational control over Hulu by Comcast, which owns the remaining 33% of Hulu. 

Comcast plans on selling its remaining stake in Hulu in 2024, despite disagreeing with the lack of growth opportunity that Disney has allowed Hulu to make. 

Comcast believes that Disney is purposefully not allowing Hulu to break out into the international market to keep its selling price low when Disney buys the remaining stake owned by Comcast. 

Does Disney Still Own Hulu?

Hulu is now one of the largest streaming sites, with over 41 million subscribers, despite Disney’s unwillingness to expand the streaming service internationally.

Compared to Disney+, which has over 116 million subscribers and is available in 61 different countries, Hulu’s presence is much less felt in the streaming industry. 

Without allowing it to go international, it is easy to believe that once Disney buys the remaining Hulu stake from Comcast, it will integrate the streaming service into its Disney+ offerings. 

The Walt Disney Company owns Hulu, all but 33% of it. It has complete control over its operations and doesn’t plan on letting it go anytime soon. 

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