While Comcast has the option to sell its Hulu stake to Disney for at least $5.8 billion by 2024, it has promised to continue supplying NBCU programming to Hulu.
In 2019, when Disney bought Fox, it also bought a majority stake in Hulu, leaving Comcast with a minority third stake in the company. A deal between Comcast and Disney, however, allowed Disney to manage Hulu.
Comcast/NBCU is attempting to catapult Peacock’s success, as well as protect its Hulu investment. Peacock is a direct-to-consumer service with all the NBC TV shows, aiming to replicate Hulu's dual revenue model of ads and subscriptions. Peacock’s ad-free supported tier reported 50 million registered users and 20 million monthly active users in Q2 2020.
15% of US adults reported watching content for free with ads on Peacock, as per Magid. But the platforms paid subscribers were much lower, with free users being 10-times higher than paying subscribers. The deal with Disney, according to Comcast's CFO, Mike Cavanagh, is a "great business", since it provides an additional 43 million users who pay to watch NBC content without ads.
[3 minute read]