Hulu Custody Battle
Why are Disney and Comcast engaged in such a fierce bidding war over 21st Century Fox? One of the reasons might be that the winner will get controlling interest in Hulu. As you can see in the graphic below all three players own 30% of Hulu. So whomever gets Fox takes over their 30% and ends up with 60% ownership of the video streamer.
Besides the issue of who will control Hulu is an equally intriguing question about what Disney and Comcast would do with the property. Disney envisions Hulu as a stand-alone subscription streaming service featuring family friendly content which targets an older demo than the Mouse’s traditional kid set. Comcast plans to keep Hulu about the same as it is right now, and bundle the subscription in with its $40/mo Live-TV sub package.
Both players would love to get their hands on Hulu’s scale, but it will come at a price. In 2017 Hulu lost $900M on ballooning content costs, and that burn rate doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. Feels like a very expensive arm wrestling match to me.