There’s great anticipation for Disney’s new streaming service. How much it will offer, how much it will cost and exactly what will be on it remains to be seen. But despite any announcements people nobody will have a look at this service before Disney completes its merger with fox. That’s a big piece of the pie when it comes to launching the service and it has a lot of implications for what will happen with not just the Disney + service but Hulu as well.
A large part of Disney’s plans involve having access to Fox material. For instance one of the features of Disney plus will be content from National Geographic. National Geographic is a FOX brand. The merge will also have a large impact on Hulu. There is little reason to think that Disney would leverage Hulu Disney plus and ESPN plus into a bundle if ESPN and Hulu weren’t heavily controlled by Disney. Once the merger goes through Disney will control 60% of Hulu and you can expect Disney to buy out AT&T as well. If Disney gains control of 70% of Hulu it will change the very nature of Hulu. It will become sort of the edgy arm of Disney where any content that doesn’t fall into line with the standards of the Disney brand will live. Can you imagine Future Man as a Disney branded feature? Disney will have a huge library of content from the multiple imprints controlled by the newly formed company from movies to TV shows like Family Guy.
Considering that AT&T has its own streaming plans it makes perfect sense that it would pull away from Hulu. The company has been getting out from under deals made by Warner media before AT&T purchased the company. There is little reason for AT&T to be involved in a streaming property that would compete against its own branded offering.
It does not appear at this time that Disney and FOX face any more major hurdles as far as getting this deal done, but if one were to emerge you should certainly expect that to impact the new service. Either way, don’t expect to see Disney + before the company can roll out all of it new toys at once.