With Comcast acquiring Sky, the whole discussion has shifted to Hulu because a huge uncertainty prevails in the market as to who will now control Hulu. Let’s find out as to how things are moving on in the corridors of Comcast.
While there are many positives in Comcast acquiring Sky, as the latter company is widespread in the majority of European countries. With the merging of Sky, Comcast will tap a big chunk of the market in Europe. But, it’s not going to be all good for the company, as there are certain downsides as well with the most prominent being the satellite providers, which are experiencing a downward slide. In the US, the dish has been shedding subscribers at a faster pace than other MVPDs and AT&T seems firm on shifting its Direct TV subscribers over to vMVPD service offered by DirecTV Now.
There are all sorts of issues with satellite transmissions, but the most important issue is that these transmissions don’t come with a broadband service that can be used to make stickiness via a double or triple play package. Although this is not an issue in Europe because things work differently in Europe.
Moreover, 39% of Sky shares are still under Fox/Disney, which a number of experts believe that Disney is going to sell to Comcast in order to help gather all the money they spent on Fox. The decision needs to be taken on Hulu as well, as the situation of Hulu is also not clear.
The Hulu conundrum
The complication with Hulu is that it is owned by three companies which are, Disney, Comcast, and AT&T. These three companies own 60 percent, 30 percent, and 10 percent respectively.
What seems to be logical here is that if Disney buys AT&T and Comcast and use Hulu as the base for their forthcoming app for people who are 18 and above. If the company can add ESPN+ into the app, then it will result in a more exciting app.
This is what many experts thought would happen, but Disney officials had some other plans. Disney said that the two OTT apps for adults and kids that they were developing would not be connected to Hulu and ESPN+. All four apps are going to be managed and controlled by Disney, and there could be a possibility of bringing all the apps in one package.
The statement was a bit confusing, as it was not clear as to what would be the differentiator between Hulu and adult Disney app.
People are not sure as to whether Hulu is going to be the home of shows that are off-brand for Disney, as there are many such shows available on Hulu.
The Comcast Angle
With Disney has two OTT apps to work on, but when you look at Comcast, it has got none. Comcast needs one app, and so, Hulu can be that app.
NBCU has a large repertoire of content because NBCU consists of a number of networks. So, Hulu can draw from a number of diverse programming, especially if it is bundled with Hulu Live TV. This isn’t just the only main reason why Hulu makes so much sense for Comcast.
Comcast is now one of the most revered broadband internet providers in the US and has more than 25 million users. If Comcast and Hulu are associated together, then it will be a big boost for both companies, as they will be able to tap markets outside of the US.