Hulu Losses to Jump by More Than $800M

Programming costs increase
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Hulu’s losses are expected to jump this year, according to the Walt Disney Co., one of its owners.

During Disney’s earnings call Tuesday, the company said it expected its share of Hulu’s losses would be $250 million more than last year. Just last quarter, Disney estimated the hit it would take from Hulu would grow by $100 million.

Disney owns 30% of Hulu, which means Hulu’s losses will increase by more than $830 million.

Last year, 21st Century Fox, which also owns 30% of Hulu, said it took a $62 million loss on the streaming outfit.

Disney has agreed to acquire Fox’s 30% stake in Hulu as part of the Fox assets it is buying. Comcast also owns 30%, and Time Warner owns 10%.

Disney CFO Christine McCarthy said the increased loss was largely related to content Hulu was licensing from its equity owners.

“As one of the equity owners, our portion of these incremental costs will largely be recouped by ABC’s program sales, as well as affiliate revenues to some of our various networks,” McCarthy said.

Hulu last year lauched Hulu Live TV, a virtual MVPD service that offers viewer more than 40 channels for about $40 a month.

Bob Iger, Disney CEO, added that Hulu has not only been increasing the amount of programming it licenses, “but the amount of product they produce, and with some considerable success, Handmaid’s Tale being one of the most recent examples of that. So they’re ramping up their volume.”

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