Comcast pushes Hulu release date to September 30th


Comcast pushes Hulu release date to September 30th

Comcast has pushed back the date it can sell its one-third stake in Hulu from January 2024 to September 30, 2023. Like this month.

According to Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts, the date was brought forward “last week” and an amendment to the company’s current agreement was signed. “So starting September 30, Disney can call after a short time,” Roberts said during the Goldman Sachs Communacopia and Technology Conference.

Roberts estimated this period would be approximately 30 days. “It will take some time for that to catch on. But both companies wanted to get it over with, so we brought the date forward,” Roberts said.

The CEO also announced that Comcast’s current plan is to use the proceeds from this sale to give back to shareholders, pay taxes and invest in meta-bond financing. Part of this is expected to be completed in 2023.

Disney, which owns two-thirds of Hulu, has been optimistic about buying up Comcast’s stake for some time. And in May, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced a possible combination of Hulu and Disney+ should that acquisition go ahead.

“There seems to be real value in combining general entertainment with Disney+,” Iger told analysts during the company’s second-quarter earnings call. “And if Hulu is ultimately that solution…we’re optimistic.”

Roberts said the evaluation process “will take some time,” and stressed Hulu’s value compared to other streamers given the live TV component, ESPN, and other bundling opportunities.

The CEO added that after selling its stake in Hulu, the company expects to return it to shareholders.

“Our plan is to return it to shareholders and include debt financing and taxes,” he said during the call. “We will achieve part of that this year in 2023. We increased the run rate by several billion dollars for the remaining two quarters of the year, which truly reflects our confidence in the expected earnings and the future valuation process and the strength of our underlying business.”

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