AT&T Sells 9.5% Stake in Hulu for $1.43B

AT&T has sold its 9.5% stake in OTT video service provider Hulu for $1.43 billion.

The companies said the transaction values Hulu, which is majority owned by Disney, at $15 billion. They noted that the deal didn't require governmental or other third-party approvals, so it was simultaneously signed and closed.

The deal gives Disney even more control of Hulu, the company behind an SVoD and live TV streaming service with about 25 million subs combined. Disney, which will get deeper into the direct-to-consumer OTT game when it launches Disney+ on November 12, secured 60% of Hulu following the 21st Century Fox deal.

The AT&T sell-off to the Hulu joint venture could spark more speculation on whether Comcast/NBCU will also look to unload their 30% stake in Hulu.

AT&T, meanwhile, said it will use the proceeds from the divestiture, along with other planned sales of "non-core assets," to reduce its debt. The Hulu stake sale also arrives as AT&T's WarnerMedia unit prepares to launch a set of subscription-based, OTT-delivered VoD video services.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner 4/16/2019 | 3:44:23 PM
Re: What do you think the chances are? I think the chances are better that they'll be asked to pay a higher price for the TV network distribution for Hulu's live-TV service as it continues to scale up subscriber-wise -- they probably can't give up on that distribution. But they could definitely begin to claw some of the library titles back to keep it off of Hulu's SVoD service. But the next round of content negotiations are definitely gonna reshape how this industry looks even more than it has already. JB 

brooks7 4/16/2019 | 9:43:19 AM
What do you think the chances are?  

So, if Hulu is entirely owned by Disney....do you think that the other content folks will just withdraw over time and use only their own service?


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