NEW YORK — Disney is taking full control of Hulu from Comcast, as both companies prepare to launch their own streaming services in response to declining audiences for traditional TV.
The companies said Tuesday that Comcast, which owns a third of Hulu, can sell its stake to Disney starting in 2024, for a minimum of $5.8 billion. Until then, Comcast will be a silent investor.
Hulu launched more than a decade ago as the major entertainment companies dealt with the rise of digital media. While YouTube became a home for digital video, Netflix built up a streaming library of back seasons of popular TV shows and movies, and Hulu made TV episodes from its parent companies available online after they aired on TV.
Hulu today still shows network TV episodes and original series for $6 a month. It has a newer, cable-like service with live TV channels for $45 a month.
In the past few years, many other streaming services have emerged, helping more people drop their cable subscriptions. These include ones from AT&T and Google that, like Hulu's live-TV service, compete with the traditional cable bundle. Others are more focused, like HBO Now.