The Walt Disney Corporation appears hellbent on world domination, based on the sheer volume of companies and properties under their umbrella. The monolithic entity has a stranglehold on the entertainment industry after amassing a portfolio that no one else in the business can even come close to matching in terms of sheer size, scale and visibility.
Not only do Disney own Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar and ABC, but they also hold an 80% stake in ESPN, 50% in The History Channel and Lifetime, and they acquired the entire 20th Century Fox library as part of the recent takeover. The Fox deal substantially increased the company’s stake in Hulu as well, and by 2024, they’ll have assumed 100% control after Comcast agreed to sell their share of the subscription service.
Disney already have a streaming platform of their own, of course, one that exceeded the loftiest of expectations by amassing over 70 million subscribers in just twelve months, and the latest reports claim that Hulu could soon be absorbed into Disney Plus. On one hand, it makes total sense, because there’s no point in an outfit owning two platforms that essentially exist for the same purpose, and it would vastly expand the content library, something regularly pointed out as a major flaw of D+.
However, there’s a potential legal minefield surrounding the plans, with Hulu having no doubt signed distribution contracts for various movies and TV shows long before Disney acquired Fox’s stake. Comcast aren’t planning on giving up their interest in the streaming service for a few years yet, though, which means the Mouse House’s legal team has plenty of time to sift through the mountains of paperwork required before the two streamers can even consider a merger as a realistic proposition.