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Bob Iger Says Selling Hulu Is a Possibility to Keep Disney Afloat

“Everything is on the table” after Disney+ drops 2.4 million subscribers.
  • Bob Iger and Mickey Mouse (Photo: Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection)
    Bob Iger and Mickey Mouse (Photo: Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection)

    Disney+ reported a loss of 2.4 million subscribers in an earnings call on Wednesday, and now Disney CEO Bob Iger is telling CNBC that “everything is on the table” to reduce the company’s debt, including selling Disney-owned streaming service Hulu. Disney currently has until 2024 to buy out Comcast’s 33% stake in the platform to take full control.

    The company also announced plans to cut 7,000 jobs and $5.5 billion in costs across all of Disney as part of a reorganization. Part of that strategy means focusing on the revenue that streaming services bring in, an area that Iger sees as the future despite the fact that the company is currently losing money on streaming. Iger cited Disney+’s recently raised subscription prices as part of the subscriber loss, but noted that at $6.99 per month, it’s still relatively low compared to other services, indicating another raise in price may be coming. (A combined Disney+ and Hulu subscription — the latter with ads — is currently $9.99 per month.)

    Disney’s main entertainment focus will be on its most popular franchises, mirroring the strategy that Showtime announced earlier this week. In this case, however, that focus means more movies instead of TV shows, including more sequels to Toy Story and Frozen.

    Disney+ does have some high-profile series coming up that may increase its numbers, like the premiere of American Born Chinese and Season 3 of The Mandalorian. In an attempt to bring even more people over to Disney+, the first episode of Season 1 of The Mandalorian will air on ABC, Freeform, and FX on February 24 at 8:00 PM ET. To see the rest of the series, viewers will need to sign up for Disney+. The success of strategies like this will likely determine Iger’s final decision on the sale of Hulu. Either way, though, he confirms to CNBC that he has no plans to stay on as CEO for longer than two years, meaning that he won’t see the fruits of that sale during his final days in the role in November 2024.

    Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R. 

    TOPICS: Disney, Disney+, Hulu, Star Wars: The Mandalorian, Comcast