Bob Iger Reveals Endgame to Buy Out Major Streaming Service

in Disney, Entertainment, Movies & TV

bob-iger-as-thanos

Credit: Reddit: Chanma50

The battle for the streaming service that sounds like a Chinese vegetable is in full swing. Disney CEO, Bob Iger, stated in May that he would want Hulu to be integrated into Disney+ in the U.S. to become an ‘one-app experience.’ He continued that the strategy was a logical progression for their direct-to-consumer offerings. It will also provide more opportunities for advertisers while allowing subscribers access to a wider compendium of streamlined content. Yet, the acquisition for streamer will be contested by one of Disney’s biggest rivals.

Bob Iger with the hulu and disney plus logos tied to gether with wedding rings
Credit: ITM/Disney

Iger expressed that procuring Hulu will lead to higher audience engagement by having a unified streaming experience. This pursuit to fully snag the streaming service was confirmed to be a definitive strategy when he announced that The Walt Disney Company will purchase Hulu “as soon as possible.”

Disney’s main competitor, Comcast NBC Universal, continues to own 34% of Hulu per a 2019 agreement. When Iger returned as CEO in November 2022, he indicated that “all options were on the table” in terms of purchasing Hulu. The option for Disney to buy out Comcast’s share of the streamer is possible, but will not be available until 2024. Many speculated originally that Disney would not make it a priority due to the company’s debt burdens.

 

Disney Plus Hulu
Credit: Disney/Hulu

The CEO professed that this was not an impetuous choice. He articulated that he has been focusing on where the business is and where it can go in the future. It was an objective decision about what would be best for Disney+ and he determined that having Hulu would be a benefit to the company.

He believes that combining Hulu and Disney+ is a major step in that direction. He also noted that Comcast’s 1/3rd ownership of Hulu does not preclude Disney from combining the two streaming services. This caveat will prompt Disney+ and Hulu to finally merge by the end of the year.

Brian L. Roberts CEO of Comcast
Credit: Comcast

The major impediment for Iger is examining Hulu’s value. The streaming service is currently valued at $27.5 billion and Comcast has had a $8.7 billion stake in it since late 2022. Comcast’s CEO, Brian Roberts, will not make it easy for Disney and stated that the true value of Hulu should be evaluated on what it could sell for on the open market. This perspective will put Comcast in a position of power to take their “pound of flesh” from Disney.

The choice to buy out Hulu at a high price tag could backfire financially for Iger. However, the company seems adamant that the purchase will unify the brand. It definitely adds to Iger’s legacy of being the Thanos of the entertainment industry.

Do you think Bob Iger’s strategy to buy out Hulu will pay off?

 

in Disney, Entertainment, Movies & TV

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