In a theory you first read here, Disney is trying to get NBCUniversal to give up its 33% ownership of Hulu in order to rebrand the network as Disney+ instead of building up their own streaming service from the ground up.
After The Walt Disney Company acquired 21st Century Fox, it gained Fox’s 30% stake in Hulu, giving the company 60% ownership. Then Hulu bought AT&T’s 9.5% stake, splitting it between Walt Disney Company and NBCUniversal, with Disney ending up with 67% of Hulu.
Disney is currently in talks with Comcast, NBCUniversal’s parent company, for a possible sale, with Comcast CEO Brian Roberts saying:
“On Hulu, the relationship with NBC, it’s very much in everybody’s interest to maintain. And we have no new news today on it, other than it’s really valuable. And we’re really glad we own a large piece of it.”
Comcast is currently $100 billion in debt, with Hulu set to lose $1.5 billion this year, so maybe selling to Disney is the right thing, which they’d get around $4.5 billion for.