Comcast and Disney look all set to move forward with talks regarding the sale of Hulu. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia + Technology Conference, announced the two companies had agreed to move talks of a Hulu sale to September 30, 2023.
Currently, Comcast owns one-third of Hulu and had made a pact with Disney (which owns the other two-thirds) to begin discussions over the sale of the remaining stake in January 2024.
Speaking at the conference, Roberts stated, “All the synergies around Hulu could be worth $30 billion, before you even ascribe value to Hulu. The previous minimum number of $27.5 billion for Hulu was a ‘hypothetical’ set when Disney ‘had control of the company,’ with the company ‘way more valuable’ today than it was when that number was set five years ago.”
The Comcast CEO said that proceeds from the sale of its Hulu stake would be returned to shareholders. He revealed that Goldman Sachs has been brought into the appraisal process and that “it will take a little time for this to play out, but both companies wanted to get it behind us so we pulled the date forward.”
When asked for his opinion on the Disney-Charter dispute, Roberts said, “When you have many distributors of the same product and in a geography, you’re gonna have disputes between the content and distribution. It’s not the first dispute and probably won’t be the last dispute.”
“Clearly, we all know the video ecosystem is changing. I think [Comcast] is really well positioned for that change, but change can have disruption and ultimately, I hope people are looking at, what is the consumer saying? I think the consumer wants simplicity, somebody to help aggregate and have the most bang for their buck. This dispute is putting tension around some of those issues. I hope they work it out. I think that’s in the interest of consumers,” he added.