×

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

  • Stuber

    ‘Stuber’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Twentieth Century Fox claims the top spot in spending with “Stuber.” Ads placed for the comedy had an estimated media value of $4.91 million through Sunday for 1,325 national ad airings on 42 networks. [...]

  • Andy Signore Screen Junkies

    'Honest Trailers' Creator Andy Signore Settles Defy Media Suit

    Andy Signore, the creator of Screen Junkies’ “Honest Trailers,” has settled a lawsuit against Defy Media challenging his firing for alleged sexual misconduct. Signore was one of the first figures to lose his job in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein harassment revelations in October 2017. Defy Media, which then owned Screen Junkies, terminated him [...]

  • Joyride

    With Joyride, Everyone Can Host Their Own HQ Trivia

    When mobile game developer Kiwi first released Joyride, the app looked familiar: Similar to wildly popular HQ Trivia, Joyride offered players the ability to win quiz shows in live broadcasts. The key difference: Joyride’s app wasn’t home to just one trivia show, but multiple shows around topics like music, dating, fandom, and yes, trivia, all [...]

  • Etika-Desmond-Amofah

    Gaming YouTuber Desmond 'Etika' Amofah Found Dead, NYPD Says

    Desmond Amofah, a YouTube gaming vlogger known online as “Etika,” was found dead by New York police on Tuesday after he was reported missing last week. He was 29. Amofah posted YouTube videos and live-streams focused on Nintendo games and other titles. A body later confirmed to be Amofah’s was found in the East River on [...]

  • Paula Pell

    Quibi Orders Comedic Murder Mystery From Lorne Michaels, 'SNL' Alums

    Quibi keeps shelling out cash for content: Jeffrey Katzenberg’s richly funded startup has ordered a short-form murder-mystery comedy written by and starring former “Saturday Night Live” writers Paula Pell and John Lutz, and executive produced by Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video alongside Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker. In “Mapleworth Murders,” Pell (pictured above) is Abigail Mapleworth, [...]

  • View of the Public Library on

    New York City Public Libraries Drop Kanopy Free Movie-Streaming Service

    Kanopy suffered a blow with the decision by New York City’s three public library systems — collectively the biggest library system in the U.S., with some 210 branches across the Big Apple — to drop the free movie-streaming service, citing high costs. As of July 1, the New York Public Library and the Brooklyn and [...]

  • Cameo

    Celebrity Video Greetings Service Cameo Raises $50 Million

    Cameo, a service that works with celebrities to sell personalized video greetings to fans, has raised a $50 million Series B round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins. The Chernin Group, Spark Ventures, Bain Capital and Lightspeeed Venture Partners participated in the funding as well. Cameo wants to use the cash infusion to grow both [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content