What the Disney-Fox Megadeal Means for Hulu

The megadeal between Disney and 21st Century Fox had been widely speculated about and now that it's a done deal many are wondering what it means for Hulu.

Among the Fox-owned properties that Disney scooped up is a 30 percent stake in the streaming service responsible for such content as The Handmaid's Tale and The Mindy Project.

Now, Hulu's future is reportedly somewhat uncertain, per Variety, as there has not been a clear direction laid out, other than Disney CEO Bob Iger saying that they plan to use the video-on-demand service for more “adult-oriented product.”

“There’s a lot of Fox intellectual property that fits extremely well into Disney-branded direct-to-consumer services,” Iger reportedly said. “There’s a lot of product that we believe will be of great use to growing Hulu as it already is. Hulu is a more adult-oriented product [that will benefit from] Fox television production and FX.”

Some speculation seems to be that Disney could beef up the streaming service and make it a more viable competitor to Netflix, as well as expanding it into international markets.

However, much of what Disney will be capable of could be dependant on if they choose to also acquire Comcast/NBCUniversal's 30 percent stake and/or Time Warner's 10 percent stake, presuming those companies would sell in the first place.

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Interestingly, before the deal was even announced, BTIG Research analyst Rich Greenfield commented on the potential implications by writing, “Hulu’s ownership structure has been a mess since it was created and even with Disney acquiring Fox’s stake, its future may remain uncertain until one partner can attain full voting control.”

Finally, Greenfield added speculatively, “[W]e believe it is possible that Disney becomes so frustrated with the joint ownership and growing losses at Hulu that it ultimately sells its Hulu stake to Comcast so Disney can focus on the launch of its own OTT services.”