When Disney completed its $71.4 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets in March, it also gained Fox’s 30% stake in Hulu, giving Disney the majority stake. In May, Disney bought Comcast’s 30% stake for $5.8 billion, giving Disney full ownership of Hulu.
Onlookers wondered: With the highly-anticipated Disney+ streaming service coming soon—which will have a staggering kitchen-sink of content from Disney (DIS), Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic—what will Hulu be for anymore?
On Disney’s 2019 Q4 earnings call on Thursday, the company answered that question.
Disney is moving all FX content to Hulu in March. Hulu will be the exclusive place to stream FX shows, and the content will be branded as FX on Hulu. (FX shut down its streaming app FX+ over the summer.)
New episodes of FX shows will hit Hulu the day after they air on television, and Hulu will have the entire libraries of more than 40 FX shows, including “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “American Horror Story,” “Atlanta,” “Archer,” and “Wilfred.”
Here’s the biggest news: Four new FX original shows, all previously announced, will go exclusively on Hulu, not on linear television: “Devs” from “Ex Machina” director Alex Garland; “Mrs. America” starring Cate Blanchett; “The Old Man” starring Jeff Bridges; and “The Teacher” starring Kate Mara.
“FX is a producer of high-quality, award-winning content and will become a key content driver for Hulu,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said on the earnings call.
This is a clever move by Disney: it keeps Hulu as a must-have for any fans of those FX shows; it also brands Hulu as Disney’s home for more grown-up content, separate from kid-friendly Disney+. A show like “Always Sunny” was never going to quite fit on Disney+. But on Hulu, which already has the super-dark dystopia “The Handmaid’s Tale” and adult comedies like “Casual” and “PEN15,” FX shows fit right in.
Bringing the FX shows to Hulu also helps make Disney’s forthcoming bundle option more attractive: $12.99 per month for Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu with ads.
Daniel Roberts is a senior writer and show host at Yahoo Finance and closely covers streaming. Follow him on Twitter at @readDanwrite.