Disney and Comcast announced today that Disney will assume full operational control of Hulu, effective immediately. In return, Disney and Comcast entered into a “put/call” agree regarding NBCUniversal’s 33% ownership interest in Hulu. The deal puts a minimum future valuation on Hulu of $27.5 billion.
The Walt Disney Co. reported financial results on Wednesday for the company’s last quarter as a singular studio entity. The second-quarter earnings report, which comes on the heels of Disney’s acquisition of Fox’s film and TV entertainment assets, was above Wall Street expectations.
Byron Allen becomes an equity and content partner in the new RSN holding company, Diamond Sports Group. The RSNs includes exclusive local rights to 42 professional teams consisting of 14 Major League Baseball teams, 16 National Basketball Association teams, and 12 National Hockey League teams.
Disney and Comcast are holding talks about working out a deal for Comcast’s 30% stake, according to people familiar with the matter. Comcast is now weighing the pros and cons of doing a deal now rather than later, said these people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. It’s still unclear if a deal will transpire.
Abigail Disney: “In 2018, Disney gave more than 125,000 employees a $1,000 bonus. But that $125 million or so was dwarfed by the $3.6 billion it spent to buy shares back to drive up its stock price and thus enrich its shareholders. Given that about 85% of stocks are held by the richest people in the country, this was a significant new investment in wealth inequality.”
Major League Baseball won’t get a shot at controlling the nation’s regional sports TV networks, after all. MLB has resigned itself to becoming a minority investor — as Disney wraps up its auction of the 21 RSNs — giving up on a dream to become the operator of a nationwide chain of sports-focused TV channels.
Disney is still considering spinning out its RSNs to shareholders as it prepares to move forward and take final bids for the 21 sports networks on Monday.
Shares in The Walt Disney Co. hit $129.85 at the opening bell Friday, up 13%, following Thursday’s news of details on its new streaming service Disney Plus.
Among them: How it will fit in the larger Disney digital offerings, and how much it will be able to disrupt the streaming business generally.