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Hulu buys back 10% stake from AT&T for $1.43 billion

Hulu at an event

Hulu is one of the first Over the Top platforms in the world. It started out in 2007 as a streaming service for TV series. The company used to legally stream the TV series on its platform, the past and the current episodes. The company does this via acquiring the rights of certain TV series to show them on its platform or it partners with certain TV channels so that it can use the content on their channel to stream it online through Hulu.

Hulu is owned by Hulu LLC which is now owned by The Walt Disney Company and Comcast. The streaming service is just amongst many other streaming services available currently. Hulu is not as big as Netflix but not as small as a company just starting out. It has grown over the years but has not been able to evolve as its competitors have. The company is having a hard time to bring out original content and this where things are getting tough as all the companies it has partnered with are getting their own content.

That being said, AT&T, a network carrier, had invested in Hulu via WarnerMedia, which is its subsidiary and owned a 10% stake in the OTT platform. However, the company decided to liquidate the stake and sold it back to Hulu at $1.43 billion. Hulu, which is owned and managed by The Walt Disney Company was happy to buy the stake back. It was previously not managed by Disney but gained control after acquiring 21st Century Fox which gave them rights to the stake of Fox in Hulu.

This acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney gave them the control of Hulu as they now had a stake in the region of 60% while Comcast had around 30%.

That said, AT&T had to sell its stake in Hulu as the company decided to cut down on the massive $175 billion debt. AT&T profited from the deal as when they bought the stake in Hulu via Time Warner, the company was valued at $5.8 billion and today the company is worth $41 billion, roughly. Comparing Hulu’s worth to Netflix, it is far behind as the latter is valued around $152 billion.

As AT&T sold its stake, Disney, on the other hand, has a lot of hope from Hulu. The American company believes that Hulu’s variety of content ranging from TV, live and On Demand is one of its kind and it will reach around 40 million to 60 million users by 2024. Disney also believes that Hulu will be profitable in 2023-24 but only in the United States of America.

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