×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Time Warner Acquires 10% Stake in Hulu for $583 Million

Turner networks to launch on Hulu's live-TV service, which is set to launch in 2017

Time Warner is taking a 10% stake in Hulu — joining existing owners Disney, 21st Century Fox and Comcast — and as part of the investment Turner will bring its cable networks to Hulu’s live-streaming TV service set to launch in 2017.

Terms of Time Warner’s Hulu deal initially were not disclosed. Time Warner later confirmed it is investing $583 million in cash, which implies Hulu is worth nearly $6 billion. The media conglom had been in talks to buy a piece of Hulu for months, with news of a potential deal surfacing last fall.

Hulu, with the cash infusion and Time Warner’s strategic backing, now has additional firepower to challenge subscription VOD leader Netflix in acquiring original shows, cutting licensing deals and expanding its service. With Time Warner’s buy-in, Comcast’s NBCUniversal, Disney and Fox each now own 30% stakes in Hulu.

“Our investment in Hulu underscores Time Warner’s commitment to supporting and developing new platforms for the delivery of high-quality content and great consumer experiences to audiences around the globe,” Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes said in announcing the deal.

Time Warner has a multifaceted SVOD strategy. Its own services include HBO Now and DramaFever, which Warner Bros. acquired earlier this year. Turner is slated to launch movie-streaming service FilmStruck this fall, and execs across Time Warner divisions have said they’re looking at additional over-the-top services. The company also has various existing content deals with Hulu, as well as with Netflix and Amazon Prime, but now Time Warner has a big financial interest in seeing Hulu’s overall business thrive.

With the Hulu investment, Time Warner said Turner networks including TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, truTV, Boomerang and Turner Classic Movies will be available live and on-demand on Hulu’s new live-streaming service.

Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins said, “This investment from Time Warner marks a major step for Hulu as we continue to redefine television for both consumers and advertisers. Our two companies have long enjoyed a productive relationship – which includes the availability of past seasons of popular Turner shows on our current SVOD offerings – and we are very proud that Turner’s networks will be included in our planned live streaming service.”

Hulu’s OTT bundle of live broadcast and cable networks, pegged for launch sometime next year, marks a major expansion for the company outside the SVOD space. With the service, the four media conglomerate owners — Disney, Fox, Comcast’s NBCUniversal and now Time Warner — will be competing with pay-TV distributors, who represent their biggest customers.

More Digital

  • Game of Thrones

    ‘Game of Thrones’ Sweeps Parrot Analytics’ 2nd Global TV Demand Awards

    MIAMI —  “I must check it out. I’ve been hearing a lot about the show,” host Carson Kressley (“Queer Eye”) joked at Parrot Analytics’ 2nd Global TV Demand Awards as “Game of Thrones” swept two of its biggest plaudits: Most In-Demand TV Series in the World, along with Most In-Demand Drama Series. The awards ceremony  [...]

  • Netflix - The Witcher

    'The Witcher' on Track to Be Netflix's Biggest TV Show Premiere Ever, Company Claims

    Netflix said “The Witcher,” the fantasy series starring Henry Cavill, is pacing to be its biggest first-season original TV series ever. “The Witcher,” which debuted Dec. 20 on Netflix, was chosen to be watched by 76 million customer households in the first four weeks of release, according to the company. That would appear to mean [...]

  • The Irishman

    Netflix Adds 8.8 Million Subscribers in Q4, Cites Competition for Lower U.S. Gains

    Netflix beat its forecast for overall subscriber additions for the fourth quarter of 2019, while it brought in fewer than expected U.S. streaming customers. The company added a net 420,000 streaming customers in the U.S. and 8.33 million overseas in the year-end 2019 quarter, for a total of 8.76 million net adds. Netflix had previously [...]

  • Tubi

    Free Streaming Service Tubi to Launch in Mexico in Pact With TV Azteca

    Tubi is heading to Mexico: The free, ad-supported streaming service announced plans to launch in the country later this year as well as a pact with TV Azteca, one of the largest producers of Spanish-language television programming. Under the terms of their deal, TV Azteca will sell advertising and promote Tubi across broadcast and digital [...]

  • CAA's Eric Wattenberg Joins Wheelhouse Group

    CAA's Eric Wattenberg Joins Wheelhouse Group as Chief Content Officer

    Eric Wattenberg, longtime CAA agent and co-head of its alternative television department, has joined producer Brent Montgomery’s Wheelhouse Group as chief content officer. Wattenberg will spearhead content development across Wheelhouse’s TV, film and digital operations, as well as its Wheelhouse Labs branded entertainment wing. The deal is a coup for the company, launched by “Pawn [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content