Comcast CEO Brian Roberts says the corporation is “more likely than not” to sell their 33% stake in Hulu to Disney, Variety reports.
Right now, Disney owns two-thirds of Hulu, and Comcast owns the other third. Their deal means that in January 2024, Disney can possibly take over Comcast’s third by requiring them to sell. Comcast can also force the sale.
Roberts said at MoffettNathanson’s Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in New York on Tuesday, “I think we have a very valuable position” and “It’s more likely than not” that they will sell.
“I think ultimately that will be valuable for our shareholders,” he said of a sale to Disney.
The question is just the valuation of Hulu. “What would a willing buyer in a robust auction [for Hulu] pay?” Roberts posed as a rhetorical question. He noted such a large streaming service has never gone up for sale.
The appraisal process for Hulu must account for the fact that “you get all the content from Disney and Fox forever, so in theory what’s that worth?”
The “guaranteed floor value” of Hulu under the current deal is $27.5 billion, so Comcast’s 33% stake is worth at least $9.2. billion.
Disney CEO Bob Iger said on the company’s most recent earnings call that they have had “constructive” talks with Comcast about Hulu. He said it “has not really been fully determined” what will happen.
In the latest financial quarter, Hulu gained 200,000 new subscribers for a total of 48.2 million. Iger also announced during the earnings call that Disney will roll out a new one-app experience that combines Disney+ and Hulu.