Tech Supportal logo

Home Tech Problems Solved! Household Technology Support. Any Issue | Any Problem | Anytime

The Smart Home Starter team picks the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

Does Disney Own Hulu?

Last Updated Jan 18, 2023
Does Disney Own Hulu?

Hulu is an over-the-top streaming service originally started by News Corporation and NBC Universal. They focus on film and television series.

The Walt Disney Company is now the majority stakeholder and owner of Hulu. Comcast still has a 33% minority share in the streaming service. Disney also owns many other streaming services.

Disney owning Hulu can cause changes in a viewer’s experience. There are even further rumors that Disney might buy out Hulu completely.

When did Disney Gain Majority Ownership of Hulu?

Even though the transition might have been smooth and not many people noticed it happened, Disney bought out majority shares from Hulu.

The Walt Disney Company gained the majority ownership of Hulu on May 14, 2019. Before that, Comcast was the majority shareholder, and AT&T held some shares.

When Disney gained control over Hulu, they were able to start making changes immediately to enhance user experience.

What has Disney Done Since Buying Hulu?

Since Disney holds the majority of shares in Hulu, they have the most influence on what goes on within the streaming platform. So what has Disney changed for Hulu?

  • Increased investments in creating original content for Hulu
  • FX, Fox Searchlight, 20th Century Studios, and Searchlight Pictures started adding content to Hulu
  • Ended the position of CEO for Hulu
  • Created a subscription bundle including Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+

So many more things have shifted around since Disney bought out Hulu, but what about their former owner, Comcast? They’re still shareholders; what can they do?

What Role Does Comcast Play with Hulu now?

Even though they aren’t majority shareholders, Comcast still has some influence. 

In June 2021, Disney canceled Hulu internationally. Comcast was not happy with this and pushed for international marketing and use.

Disney used this as an opportunity to revive an old name, Star. Currently, Hulu is known as Star+ in Latin America.

Comcast has also been working on pulling its content from Hulu since Disney became the majority shareholder.

Is Disney Going to Buy Hulu Completely?

Disney has made so many big changes over the past few years since becoming a majority shareholder in Hulu they might as well just own Hulu themselves, right?

Disney is set to buy out Comcast’s remaining shares in Hulu by 2024. Disney hopes to have full ownership in 2023, but it seems unlikely, according to Disney’s CEO, Bob Chapek.  

What Would This Mean for Viewers?

Since Comcast is already set to part ways with Hulu, they have been slowly removing their  NBC Universal content from Hulu.

Comcast / NBC Universal will continue to air content until the contract expires in 2024. Anything from NBC Universal will be moved over to NBC’s streaming service, Peacock.

So if you want to watch your favorite NBC shows on Hulu, you should binge them now or subscribe to Peacock. If this makes you unhappy, you can easily cancel your Hulu subscription.

Why Doesn’t Disney Own Japanese Hulu?

Hulu itself can only be streamed in the US, Puerto Rico, Japan, and on US military bases. However, Disney does not own Hulu in Japan; Nippon TV does.

Hulu is also available in Japan, but the Japanese version of the streaming service is not owned by Disney. It has been owned and operated by Nippon TV since 2014.

Disney has not made any moves to own Hulu in Japan. 

Streaming Services Owned by Disney

Hulu isn’t the only streaming service owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company. 

Here is a list of their other popular streaming services.

  • Disney+
  • Starz+
  • ABC+
  • ESPN+
  • Hotstar

If you have any of these, you should download Teleparty to watch with your family and friends.

Television Broadcasting Networks Owned by Disney

Disney is also no slouch when it comes to traditional television broadcasting. Disney owns some of the most recognizable networks in television.

  • American Broadcasting Company (ABC)
  • The National Geographic Channel
  • ESPN
  • A&E (with Hearst Corp.)
  • The History Channel (with Hearst Corp.)
  • Lifetime (with Hearst Corp.)
  • NBC Universal
  • Disney Junior
  • The Disney Channel
  • ABC Family

Through some mixing and matching, you’ll be able to find content from most of these networks throughout any of the streaming platforms that Disney owns.

Conclusion

Disney is now the majority shareholder, owner, and operator of the Hulu streaming service.

The Japanese version of Hulu is wholly owned and operated by Nippon TV.

Disney owns well over 200 companies in varying fields and specialties. It is unlikely you can go about your daily routine without encountering Disney products somewhere.