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Hulu Buys AT&T’s Minority Stake In Streaming Service For $1.43 Billion

Oct 25, 2017
10,468
#1
https://deadline.com/2019/04/hulu-buys-atts-minority-stake-in-streaming-service-1202596358/
And then there were two. Hulu, which only a month ago was owned by four big media companies, Disney, 21st Century Fox, NBCUniversal and AT&T/Werner Media, will now be co-owned by Disney and NBCU. AT&T and Hulu have struck a deal for AT&T to sell its minority stake in Hulu back to the video streaming joint venture. The transaction valued Hulu at $15 billion, with AT&T’s 9.5% interest valued at $1.43 billion.
 
Oct 25, 2017
663
#9
I wonder what Disney's plans are for Hulu now they own the vast majority of the company now, in the near future.
I imagine they'll keep it going. It still has value for it's existing target audiences, not all of which will overlap with Disney+. Content like The Handmaid's Tale sure isn't going on Disney+.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,215
#12
Hulu is so weird. I use it occasionally because I get it free, but I'm not sure that I'd pay for it.

It's good if you miss an episode of like Brooklyn 99 or something.

The movie selection is STARZ tier garbage usually.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,331
#14
Hulu is so weird. I use it occasionally because I get it free, but I'm not sure that I'd pay for it.

It's good if you miss an episode of like Brooklyn 99 or something.

The movie selection is STARZ tier garbage usually.
Yeah my wife and I were scrolling through the movies recently and laughing at how terrible the selection is.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,800
#16
Hulu is so weird. I use it occasionally because I get it free, but I'm not sure that I'd pay for it.

It's good if you miss an episode of like Brooklyn 99 or something.

The movie selection is STARZ tier garbage usually.
Hulu's movie selection is actually pretty good. They recently got If Beale Street Could Talk the same day it released on home video and I noticed they also added Shoplifters as well.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,598
#20
I hope this doesn't mean losing WB content, there are lots of it on Hulu. Adult Swim, Cartoon Network and smaller stuff like Smallville, Full House or Home Improvement. They once said nothing on Hulu gets removed unless they decide not to the contract after it runs out of something in the show has its license expired (we lost Mork and Mindy and Happy Days due to music license). They also said on Reddit they always try to renew deals ( most recent one is Viacom).
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,621
#24
I hope this doesn't mean losing WB content, there are lots of it on Hulu. Adult Swim, Cartoon Network and smaller stuff like Smallville, Full House or Home Improvement. They once said nothing on Hulu gets removed unless they decide not to the contract after it runs out of something in the show has its license expired (we lost Mork and Mindy and Happy Days due to music license). They also said on Reddit they always try to renew deals ( most recent one is Viacom).
What content will Hulu lose with this?
During the investor meeting last week where they laid out Disney+, they talk about how they don't plan on losing any of the content on Hulu in the near future. A company selling their ownership in Hulu has nothing to do with the content rights.
 
Oct 25, 2017
364
#28
I hope this doesn't mean losing WB content, there are lots of it on Hulu. Adult Swim, Cartoon Network and smaller stuff like Smallville, Full House or Home Improvement. They once said nothing on Hulu gets removed unless they decide not to the contract after it runs out of something in the show has its license expired (we lost Mork and Mindy and Happy Days due to music license). They also said on Reddit they always try to renew deals ( most recent one is Viacom).
They haven't mentioned specifics yet on distribution, but a lot of Warner/Turner stuff is likely moving to the WarnerMedia product coming out later this year.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,598
#29
They haven't mentioned specifics yet on distribution, but a lot of Warner/Turner stuff is likely moving to the WarnerMedia product coming out later this year.
I don't think so, nothing gets removed on Hulu unless contract expires without a renewal. Hulu didn't lose Smallville when WB added it to DC Universe.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,621
#30
They haven't mentioned specifics yet on distribution, but a lot of Warner/Turner stuff is likely moving to the WarnerMedia product coming out later this year.
I'm sure Warner might want it, but if there's already deals in place, they'd have to pay to get it off, they can't just pull it unilaterally (this actually just happened in reverse, with TurnerMedia [a part of TimeWarner] basically having the streaming rights to Star Wars movies, and Disney having to negotiate with them to get those movies onto Disney+). If their deal with Hulu is non-exclusive, the best they can do is share it until the rights deal runs out.
 
Oct 28, 2017
5,026
#32
If AT&T were smart they'd expand HBO Now to include a bunch of WB and other stuff they own. Keep the price at $15, and they'd have a portfolio that would be hard for a lot to resist.

As it is now, HBO has huge hits and a splatter of B+ movies. It just isn't enough for year round subscriptions. But add in their other stuff and they're on par with Netflix and Disney+.
 
Oct 25, 2017
192
#34
Iirc Disney mentioned they expect both Hulu and Disney+ to turn profit by 2022 during the investor day. I don’t think they care about Hulu bleeding money left and right right now.

I am more concerned about Hulu library in a few years thou. Comcast will probably bail out since NBCUniversal will launch their own streaming service. Warner Bros. will also launch their own this year.
 
#35
If AT&T were smart they'd expand HBO Now to include a bunch of WB and other stuff they own. Keep the price at $15, and they'd have a portfolio that would be hard for a lot to resist.

As it is now, HBO has huge hits and a splatter of B+ movies. It just isn't enough for year round subscriptions. But add in their other stuff and they're on par with Netflix and Disney+.
Hbo Now is demanding it’s price as is so there’s not much point in making it more inclusive.

They’ll make more money by segmenting their streaming offerings.

These companies will still license out their stuff if it’ll make them more money than keeping it exclusive. They often package a lot of older things together because no one cares enough to only get one thing.
 
Oct 25, 2017
364
#36
I don't think so, nothing gets removed on Hulu unless contract expires without a renewal. Hulu didn't lose Smallville when WB added it to DC Universe.
I'm sure Warner might want it, but if there's already deals in place, they'd have to pay to get it off, they can't just pull it unilaterally
Yeah, that's what I mean. As those deals expire, they'll roll over to WM. They're in a weird position now where HBO/Turner/WB want to keep all of their distribution/content partners happy, but AT&T wants to create their own thing. It's going to be a rough transition for a few years. They've actually mentioned Friends as an example of a deal they've extended, but will want to bring in house when it's time.
 
Oct 25, 2017
703
#37
Even though Disney has a controlling stake of Hulu, I've recently read news articles suggesting Comcast might not want to sell the 30% or so they own to Disney. If Comcast refuses to sell the remainder to Disney, I wonder how that will effect Disney's plans for Disney+ and Hulu, if Disney doesn't own 100% of Hulu?

Honestly I'm not a fan of how Disney wants to split content up by age ratings, and was always more interested in the potential bundle options than either service individually. So I hope a Disney/Comcast split Hulu, doesn't mess with Disney's plans for mature content too much.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,598
#38
Yeah, that's what I mean. As those deals expire, they'll roll over to WM. They're in a weird position now where HBO/Turner/WB want to keep all of their distribution/content partners happy, but AT&T wants to create their own thing. It's going to be a rough transition for a few years. They've actually mentioned Friends as an example of a deal they've extended, but will want to bring in house when it's time.
That depends. Hulu deals are not exclusive anyway, they don't lose anything them being there (in fact, they earn extra money). They might renew the deal just like Friends on Netflix.
 
Nov 20, 2017
1,540
#39
Seems like so little to sale, why do it? Is AT&T on that shit? Did they smoke the tv?
Hulu originally wanted Time Warner (as it was then) to own a minority piece of the platform as they were adding the Turner channels to the MVPD package (at great expense apparently) and they wanted them to have some 'skin in the game'. I imagine the deal WarnerMedia cut means that Hulu will continue to buy a certain amount of WB content, perhaps some library titles and some guaranteed scripted pick ups too.

There is only upside and Comcast gets to be a thorn in Disney's side as structural changes to Hulu requires Comcast's consent.
Even though Disney has a controlling stake of Hulu, I've recently read news articles suggesting Comcast might not want to sell the 30% or so they own to Disney. If Comcast refuses to sell the remainder to Disney, I wonder how that will effect Disney's plans for Disney+ and Hulu, if Disney doesn't own 100% of Hulu?
This is a huge issue for Disney and it constantly gets swept under the rug. Comcast can totally frustrate Disney by doing nothing, they don't need the money from a sale of Hulu and by maintaining their stake in Hulu they make sure that Disney can't fully create a competitive SVOD platform for their own effort.

Basically put this is a classic corporate Catch 22, Disney went to all that expense (after bidding with Comcast upped the price significantly) and effort to acquire half the Fox assets and yet Comcast will directly benefit as the more Iger and Co grow Hulu as a platform the bigger price they'll have to pay to eventually (five years, ten years, maybe more?) buy out Comcast's share.
 
Aug 20, 2018
3,613
#40
If Hulu (or other video streaming services) is serious about competing with netflix, they better wake up and start to venture outside the US...

like seriously, other than Netflix, all the so called major video streaming vendors are so US-centric, it's not even funny. Even Amazon is half-hearted in terms of venturing out US.

While they kept on dragging their feet, Netflix already had original content from Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, India, etc...not to mention the already well-known ones like stranger things among others.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,805
Western Australia
#41
If Hulu (or other video streaming services) is serious about competing with netflix, they better wake up and start to venture outside the US...

like seriously, other than Netflix, all the so called major video streaming vendors are so US-centric, it's not even funny. Even Amazon is half-hearted in terms of venturing out US.

While they kept on dragging their feet, Netflix already had original content from Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, India, etc...not to mention the already well-known ones like stranger things among others.
Yeah, it's easy to look at the spending power of Amazon or Disney and say that "Netflix's days are numbered!", but international availability is an area where Netflix incomparably excels. Content Provider spending $50m on a new show doesn't really mean all that much in the grand scheme of things if its footprint is limited and the remaining distribution rights are geographically fractured. There will -- and, for many, perhaps has -- come a point where people just default to their service/s of choice and pirate everything else as there's a financial limit to the extent they can legally support the content they watch.

To be clear, I'm not saying Netflix shouldn't be worried about competition or its large-scale competitors are doomed to fail. Rather, I'm making the point that the latter need to adapt for the reality that digital distribution means international distribution, regardless of intent or contracts. To paraphrase Gabe Newell, piracy is largely a matter of service, not price.
 
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Oct 26, 2017
2,930
#43
I hope this doesn't mean losing WB content, there are lots of it on Hulu. Adult Swim, Cartoon Network and smaller stuff like Smallville, Full House or Home Improvement.
didn't realize there's Adult Swim stuff on here. Why can I watch Tim & Eric but it says Steve Brule is locked and not available on my subscription?

We get Netflix for free through T-Mobile, so we signed up for Hulu and I like it quite a bit. I hope this sell doesn't destroy it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,621
#45
Yeah, it's easy to look at the spending power of Amazon or Disney and say that "Netflix's days are numbered!", but international availability is an area where Netflix incomparably excels. Content Provider spending $50m on a new show doesn't really mean all that much in the grand scheme of things if its footprint is limited and the remaining distribution rights are geographically fractured. There will -- and, for many, perhaps has -- come a point where people just default to their service/s of choice and pirate everything else as there's a financial limit to the extent they can legally support the content they watch.

To be clear, I'm not saying Netflix shouldn't be worried about competition or its large-scale competitors are doomed to fail. Rather, I'm making the point that the latter need to adapt for the reality that digital distribution means international distribution, regardless of intent or contracts. To paraphrase Gabe Newell, piracy is largely a matter of service, not price.
Disney's aggressive launch strategy tells me they're already thinking about the rest of the world, and they have brands that actually play well worldwide to start with. While I agree that we're at a place now where Netflix competes internationally and if you want to actually usurp them you're going to have to play that game, everyone starts off US based because it's easier to do that and expand than it is to try to hit the ground running everywhere at once.
 
Nov 20, 2017
1,540
#46
didn't realize there's Adult Swim stuff on here. Why can I watch Tim & Eric but it says Steve Brule is locked and not available on my subscription?

We get Netflix for free through T-Mobile, so we signed up for Hulu and I like it quite a bit. I hope this sell doesn't destroy it.
I'd bet cash money that Adult Swim will eventually migrate over to the WarnerMedia platform. It's too strong a brand to leave on Hulu.