I’ve been hearing rumblings of this for a while, it will be interesting to see if it comes to pass. If Disney joins NBC, FOX and ABC would all be participating. Getting three rivals to participate together is much, much harder than getting two. We’ll see.
The Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS) Company could wind up with an equity stake in Hulu in exchange for adding ABC programming to the NBC Universal-News Corp (NYSE: NWS) joint venture, a source familiar with the situation tells paidContent. It’s not clear how much of Disney’s television programming is involved beyond ABC—a second source says all Disney content has been discussed but it centers on ABC; other possibilities could include ESPN (not likely given ESPN’s reliance on license fees from cable operators and others) and, if not the Disney Channel, some offshoots. The discussions, dormant for a while, have picked up again recently and are described as “serious” by both sources. A third source close to the situation said the discussions with Disney are “definitely real”—and more so than before—but cautioned against saying any deal has been reached.