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Hulu Could Be For Sale

Discussion in 'More News from Your Google TV News Team' started by Rickaren, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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    Hulu Could Be For Sale

    Jun. 21 2011 -

    [​IMG]Hulu CEO Jason Kilar





    The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Hulu has been approached with an offer to buy the company. Right now it is unclear who the offer is from but CNBC’s Julia Boorstin tweets it is not from Google.
    Hulu is co-owned by Disney, News Corp. and Comcast‘s NBC. It streams many shows for free but also offers Hulu Plus for $8 a month. With Hulu Plus, users get access to more TV shows and fewer ads.
    Hulu was set to go public late last year but scrapped plans. Chief Executive Jason Kilar said that the company had revenues of $260 million in 2010 and that Hulu is turning a profit. But the site is still struggling to compete with Netflix which has 23 million subscribers.


    According to the Wall Street Journal:
    The future of Hulu has been a messy topic. The venture’s owners — largely media companies Comcast, News Corp., Disney and private-equity firm Providence Equity Partners — haven’t always been on the same page about the company’s future, and how much free media content it should run. Hulu also explored an IPO last year to raise money to buy right to more content.

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  2. alphawave7

    alphawave7 Moderator Staff Member

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    Scuttlebutt is the courter is Yahoo. Ick.
     
  3. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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    Hulu considers sale, but who’s the bidder?

    By Janko Roettgers Jun. 21, 2011


    Updated. Hulu has been approached by a potential buyer and is now contemplating whether it should sell, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday afternoon. The paper reported that Hulu’s board is now considering whether it should enter negotiations or solicit bids from other prospective buyers. There’s no word yet on who made the offer, other than a tweet from CNBC correspondent Julia Boorstin who said she has learned that “it’s not Google who made the offer.”
    So who is it? Here are a few candidates, and our take on it:


    Microsoft: The software giant has been working hard to turn its Xbox Live service into a platform for TV, so investing some money in content or licenses for content could make sense. However, Xbox users can already access Hulu, so there’s no immediate upside for Redmond in taking over Hulu.


    Comcast: The cable giant has huge plans for TV Everywhere, and Hulu could make a much better authenticated platform than its howmegrown Xfinity platform. However, the conditions for the merger between NBC and Comcast specifically bar Comcast from exercising corporate control over Hulu. Any potential bid for the platform would be dead on arrival.


    Netflix: This would be juicy. However, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has long said that he doesn’t want to be in the day-after catchup business. Netflix has also always ruled out advertising and instead been comparing itself to subscription video service HBO.


    News Corp: Now here’s a good one. Rupert Murdoch likes risky bets, and he’s been a big advocate of subscription-based businesses as of late. News Corp. already holds 27 percent of Hulu, which means that Murdoch could get Hulu cheaper than many others on this list.


    Apple: This is also an interesting bet. Apple’s recent iCloud launch — and the absence of any professional video component — showed that the company has to play catch-up in the TV space. It must also irk Steve Jobs that the most successful service on its Apple TV is run by Microsoft board member Reed Hastings.


    Amazon: This would also make a lot of sense. Amazon has been using its own video subscription service to get people to buy more stuff with Prime Shipping, and it could do the same thing much more effectively with Hulu Plus. Also, combining Hulu’s and Amazon’s assets may just be the only way to challenge Netflix in the near term.


    Yahoo: Don’t discount the uncool outsiders. Yes, this would be a major commitment for Yahoo, but what does the company have to lose at this point? The same argument would also work for Sony.


    Google: Yeah I know. But sources can tell CNBC whatever they want, I wouldn’t rule Google out on this one. YouTube has been trying to get more professional content for a long time, and merging the two site’s catalog would accomplish just that.


    No one: I know, this one seems like a cop-out. But there is always a reasonable chance that the entire talk about a possible acquisition has been overblown to benefit someone with stakes in the game, which could either be content negotiations Hulu is in or even the direction of the company itself. Hulu reportedly planed an IPO last year, but blew it off due to pressure from its owners. What if the buyout talk is just a way to deflect more meddling?


    Update: The Los Angeles Times reports that Hulu received an unsolicited bid from Yahoo. However, it’s not clear if this bid is the same one that the Wall Street Journal reported on earlier.

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  4. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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    3 Reasons Why Google Should Buy Hulu

    June 23, 2011

    Hulu is reportedly receiving unsolicited buyout offers, and everyone seems to be handicapping this race.

    The three media giants that already own a chunk of the company would naturally have the clearest path to swallowing Hulu whole, but every scenario that I have played out in my head ends with Google gobbling up the popular video-streaming site.

    Let's go over a few of the reasons why Big G is the one to watch here.


    1. It doesn't want to make Yahoo! stronger.

    The Los Angeles Times believes that Yahoo! was the company that kicked off the speculative fury by making an unsolicited run at Hulu.

    Google doesn't fear Yahoo!, but it can never underestimate a cash rich and catalyst poor giant being reawakened. Yahoo! is still a beast when it comes to display advertising and drawing portal traffic, and Hulu would make Yahoo! even more sticky and relevant

    Buying Hulu, in other words, keeps it away from Yahoo! or any other rival.

    2. Google still needs to make nice with Tinseltown.

    The rushed rollout of Google TV last year was a disaster. It nailed the technology. It nabbed great hardware partners. It forgot to strike the necessary licensing deals with studios to make sure that folks could stream network content.

    The end result is that Google TV televisions and set-top boxes have gone through a few price cuts but they're still not penetrating the market in a way that doesn't embarrass Google. Snapping up Hulu would make it that much easier to play nice with Hollywood, though some studios may naturally be reluctant to embrace the move.

    Netflix did it. Studios hated Netflix as it popularized celluloid smorgasbords and devalued streams by offering them up to subscribers at no additional cost. They came around, largely because Netflix begin cutting fat checks. Google really only needs to cut one really fat check for Hulu to get things started.

    3. Hulu is the key to slowing down Apple's global domination.

    Analysts at Piper Jaffray and Ticonderoga Securities are once again discussing the inevitability of Apple rolling out a full-blown premium high-def television set.


    Google is running out of time to make Google TV relevant.

    If history repeats, one can argue that Google can let Apple make web-tethered television cool. The leading search engine can then step in and appeal to the cheaper mass market the way it has with Android in the smartphone space.

    The problem here is that Google is already failing in the living room. Sony Google TV sets and Logitech Revue boxes are a lot cheaper than they were during last fall's introductions, and Google will need to step up its game if its fledgling platform is to take off. Being the parent company of YouTube isn't enough, apparently.

    Apple, on the other hand, is already rubbing elbows with Hollywood's digital giants through its iTunes storefront. Hulu is the quick fix that Google needs.

    Is there anyone other than Google that makes a better fit when it comes to buying up Hulu?


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