Hulu’s Global Expansion on Pause Due to Disney ‘Uncertainty’

Back in November 2019, we reported that Hulu was putting a global expansion plan into action. That plan was confirmed during Disney’s Q1 earnings call in February 2020, when then-CEO Bob Iger said that international expansion would be a focus for the company in 2021.

When Iger previously talked about global expansion, he mentioned that part of that plan would be to continue focusing on original content. Building up that content would make expansion more plausible, as many content licenses for existing content won’t extend to international markets.

Now, comments made during Disney’s Q2 earnings call suggest that those plans are on pause. Lightshed reports that global expansion plans “had been shelved given Disney’s challenging leverage/cash position.

In the earnings call, when asked about Hulu plans, current CEO Bob Chapek said “Long term, we’re still bullish about Hulu international. Right now though, given the cash situation and the sort of uncertainty around our overall business, we’ve got no plans immediately to make any investment in that business internationally. But that again is in short term only because of the COVID situation that we’re faced with.”

A further sign of Hulu’s expansion delay is the deal made this week, giving Amazon Prime Video rights to the Hulu original series ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ in Europe, Latin America, Canada and Australia, beginning May 22.

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