The news: Hulu’s ownership may have just gotten a lot less complicated. In a recent CNBC interview, Disney CEO Bob Iger said the company isn’t committed to pursuing full ownership of Hulu, saying “everything is on the table.”
Reversal: Not too long ago, former CEO Bob Chapek expressed a desire to buy out the remaining share of Hulu in order to create a bundle combining it with Disney+. But now, under new (old?) leadership, it seems plans are-a-changin’.
Why Hulu matters: In the US, Hulu is the second-largest streaming service just behind Netflix, and is expected to reach 130.7 million viewers this year, per our October forecast. But with Comcast, Disney, and others launching their own branded, flagship streaming services, Hulu’s place in the mix is unclear.
Our take: Iger’s statements should be taken at face value—anything is on the table. It’s unlikely that Disney would give up its pursuit of Hulu ownership outright, but backing off its aggression makes sense given the company’s recent earnings and revenue struggles.