Online video service Hulu is considering a potential sale after an unknown bidder made an offer for the company, according to several reports.
None of the reports could confirm the identity of the buyer, though CNBC’s Jolua Boorstin says it’s not Google. It’s also unclear how advanced the talks are, and as WSJ reports, Hulu hasn’t even determined if it wants to sell.
The problem for Hulu is that it is heavily dependent on content from Walt Disney (which owns ABC), News Corp. (which owns Fox) and NBCUniversal (which is a subsidiary of Comcast and GE). Each of these companies have an equity stake in Hulu and will have to approve any sale. If even one of these three partners didn’t approve and decided to pull its content from Hulu, it would dramatically affect the value of the online video website.
Hulu has been trying to appease its network overlords with new deals and its Hulu Plus premium subscription option, but it’s also expanding its roster of original programming with several Hulu-exclusive shows.
The company was reportedly preparing for a $2 billion IPO last year, but has pulled back due to concerns about its deals with the networks. Hulu is the second largest video website in the world behind YouTube.
Our bet is that Hulu decides to remain independent, at least for now. There are too many logistical nightmares with any sale, and the company is better off with an IPO, thanks to LinkedIn.
Update: It seems that Yahoo may be the company trying to buy Hulu, according to The Los Angeles Times.
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