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Hulu saw its losses deepen in 2017 as investments in original content ramped up – a trend that’s expected to continue in 2018.

BTIG Research Analyst Richard Greenfield thinks it’s time media investors in Disney and 21st Century Fox demand greater disclosures about the OTT video service’s underlying business trends and the positive impact spending is having on its parent companies, which are increasingly becoming obscured.

Based on Comcast’s 10-K disclosures, BTIG calculated that Hulu losses reached $920 million last year, compared to $531 million in 2016. For the full year, owners Comcast, 21st Century Fox, Disney (each owning a 30 percent stake) and Time Warner (10 percent stake), invested a total of $1 billion in the service. In 2016, $733 million was invested in Hulu, including a $583 million investment from Time Warner.

Comcast invested $300 million last year, and reported a $276 million share of losses.

“We now expect Hulu’s losses to grow over 80 percent in calendar 2018 to nearly $1.7 billion with its four partners investing pro-rata an additional $1.50 billion,” Greenfield wrote in a blog post, noting estimates are based on the owners’ financial disclosures.

Greater transparency about Hulu’s financials is especially important given Disney’s mega-deal for many of Fox’s assets, including its Hulu stake, which would increase Disney’s ownership to 60 percent, Greenfield noted.

“When Hulu’s losses and parent-company investment were relatively small, its ability to skew financials at its parent companies was modest. However, now we know, via Disney, that Hulu’s losses will increase dramatically in 2018,” Greenfield wrote. “The increased investment and losses are being used to buy content from Hulu’s parent entities as Disney’s CFO pointed out and to add vMVPD subscribers which boosts broadcast TV retrans fees and cable network affiliate fees for Hulu’s parent companies. Yet, we have virtually no disclosure on the positive impact Hulu’s spending is having on its parent companies.”

As of year-end, Hulu said it had more than 17 million subscribers for its on-demand and live TV packages, which are only available in the U.S. Compare that to Netflix’s 118 million subscriber base that reaches internationally.

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