Disney CEO may combine streaming assets, including Hulu in one app

FAN Editor

The next company that may combine all its streaming assets under on app could be The Walt Disney Co., if Chief Executive Bob Chapek gets his way.

Chapek made comments to that effect at Wednesday’s Goldman Sachs investor conference, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Chapek said that “there’s a little bit of consumer friction” for streaming customers who want to shift between Disney’s family-focused and franchise content in Disney+ and the general entertainment content of Hulu or sports content on the ESPN+ app.

Viewers must toggle between different apps on their smartphones, televisions and other devices to watch content on each service. 

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Bob Chapek of Disney wearing a suit while speaking

Disney CEO Bob Chapek speaking at an event. (Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Placing all three services under one umbrella in a single app would reduce that.

The company has already experimented with such a model in Europe, where the Star streaming brand, which includes many shows that also air on Hulu, is already part of Disney+.

However, to do that Disney must take full ownership of Hulu, which is now one-third owned by Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal.

Hulu logo with toy people in front

Toy figures of people are seen in front of the displayed Hulu logo in this illustration. (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration / Reuters Photos)

Under a 2019 agreement, Disney had the right to force a sale of Comcast’s stake at fair-market value, starting in 2024, with a floor valuation of $27.5 billion.

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Chapek noted that sentiment has cooled significantly since the original agreement, suggesting a more modest payout.

Speaking at the same conference, Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts signaled Hulu would not come cheap and would  seek market value for that minority stake, according to Reuters..

“Hulu’s a phenomenal business,” Roberts said, adding that it would attract multiple bidders if it were up for sale in its entirety.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts speaking

Comcast Corporation Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts. (REUTERS/Thomas Peter / Reuters Photos)

Other media companies have been combining apps to simplify offerings.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DIS THE WALT DISNEY CO. 112.51 +0.76 +0.68%
CMCSA COMCAST CORP. 34.47 +1.01 +3.02%

Warner Brothers Discovery said it would combine its Discovery+ service with HBO Max. 

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Paramount Global is considering combining its Showtime service with Paramount+, according to The Journal.

Fox News’ Chase Williams contributed to this report.

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