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Comcast considers Hulu future

Hulu’s Emmy-winning dystopian drama The Handmaid’s Tale

Comcast CEO Steve Burke has said it is in the company’s interest to retain its minority stake in US streamer Hulu, despite reports it’s looking to offload it.

Hulu has grown rapidly over recent years, bolstered by extensive spending on original content including The Handmaid’s Tale.

US media giant Disney, one of the original joint-venture partners in the streamer when it launched more than a decade ago, has been able to up its stake to 67% in recent months having acquired assets belonging to 21st Century Fox including its 30% stake in Hulu.

Earlier this month the Mouse House, which is preparing to launch family-friendly streamer Disney+ later this year, acquired a further 9.5% share of Hulu from HBO and WarnerMedia owner AT&T for US$1.43bn..

NBCUniversal owner Comcast still owns 33% of Hulu and, according to Burke, is not in a rush to sell that stake despite Disney’s majority position. “On Hulu, it’s very much in everybody’s interest to maintain,” he said yesterday.

He described the stake as “really valuable,” and added “we’re glad we own a really large piece of it,” reflecting the US$15bn value attributed to Hulu via the AT&T deal.

Burke said that there was “no new news” on any potential change of Hulu’s ownership, despite reports on CNBC suggesting the cable giant was considering selling its stake, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Hulu was launched more than a decade ago as a joint venture between Disney, Fox and NBCUniversal, with Turner joining later.

The cabler is now considering its options, CNBC said, but could wait to sell given the company’s valuation. Hulu has 25 million subscribers in the US compared with 58 million for Netflix, but the latter is valued at 11 times that of Hulu.



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