Print 16 comment(s) - last by nocturne_81.. on Sep 7 at 5:48 PM

Google, Yahoo, Amazon and DISH Network are all preparing bids for the acquisition of Hulu  (Source:
Among those who have prepared bids for Hulu are Google, Yahoo, Amazon and DISH Network

We learned just a few months ago that Hulu had placed a "for sale" sign on its store window, and now, the video streaming subscription service site is to receive about five first-round bids.

Earlier this year, Hulu, which is owned by Walt Disney Co., News Corp., Comcast Corp. and Providence Equity Partners Inc., was working to renew licensing agreements in order to increase its value on the open market. In June, Fox Broadcasting Co. renewed its licensing agreement, which brought shows like "Family Guy," "Glee," and "The Simpsons" back to Hulu. With such agreements in its back pocket, Hulu had something to offer subscribers and could finally have a shot at attracting a buyer.

Hulu went up for sale in late June, almost immediately after Yahoo approached Hulu about a possible acquisition, yet Hulu wasn't ready to sell at that point.

Now, Hulu is to receive as many as five first-round bids where each offer included terms for programming rights. Bid prices are still unclear, but the Wall Street Journal expects that bids will range between $500 million and $2 billion.

Among those who have prepared bids for Hulu are Google, Yahoo, Amazon and DISH Network.

Hulu's owners will grant the winner five years of rights to TV shows, which includes two years of exclusivity. According to Chase Carey, chief operating officer of News Corp., the sale process is trucking alone right on schedule.

"We'll see where it ultimately ends up," said Carey. "For us, it's still a decision to see what it looks like at the end, and does it make sense to pursue that path, or does it make sense for us to stay in an ownership position and continue to have it driven by content owners."

It's tough for video streaming services to compete in a very Netflix-driven world, but with recent issues like Netflix's subscription price hikes and its loss of the satellite TV channel Starz (which is supposedly going to release its movies through contractual negotiations with DISH's Blockbuster streaming movie service), new competitors could give Netflix a run for its money.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Eh..
By rs2 on 9/6/2011 1:15:26 AM , Rating: 3
You miss the point. UX, design, and available content have nothing to do with what market segment a given service is in. Both Youtube and Hulu are in the exact same market segment (streaming delivery of on-demand video content), and arguing that Google has no business interest there is just ridiculous.

The difference between the user-experience on Youtube and the user-experience on Hulu is immaterial. As is your desire to not see them become the same thing. They both provide the same service, to the same target market. From a business perspective, they are already the same thing, just built slightly differently.

Your position is akin to saying that Ford should not purchase Lamborghini because they have no business in the high-performance vehicle industry and you don't want to see the Aventador to turn into a Fiesta. But from a business standpoint, car is car.

RE: Eh..
By nocturne_81 on 9/6/2011 5:34:02 AM , Rating: 1
Perhaps I worded it inaptly.. it was exactly my point that Youtube and Hulu are in the same market -- why would Google want to double down?

And a better example would be Ford buying Volvo.. Sure, it improved Ford safety a bit -- but look what they did to Volvo in the process.

I just think Google has enough on their plate right now, and with grumbling shareholders getting upset over litigation and expenses for 'free' services (not to mention having just spent $12b cash for Motorola), I really doubt they'd be a serious bidder; whereas Yahoo has nothing to lose (they definitely need to do something).

RE: Eh..
By dcollins on 9/6/2011 3:47:17 PM , Rating: 1
But from a business standpoint, car is car.

This is stupid. Building a high-margin, low-volume sports car is an ENTIRELY different business than building low-margin, high volume consumer vehicles. Lamborghini's are all hand built from mostly custom parts and are sold based on brand value and performance. Ford vehicles are built in massive factories and rely on a diversified supply chain and optimized manufacturing to keep the all-important cost low.

Both Youtube and Hulu are in the exact same market segment (streaming delivery of on-demand video content)

Your category is too broad. Hulu provides online streaming of studio created, big budget TV shows (and movies). Youtube hosts user created video content, generally low or no budget. These are significantly different product offerings from a business perspective. Hulu has to pay content producers through expensive contracts; youtube merely has to attract users who post content free of charge.

[Hulu and Youtube] provide the same service, to the same target market.

The market is similar, but the product is fairly different, for the reasons mentioned above. This difference is exactly what makes Hulu so attractive to Google. So far, Google has failed in its efforts to negotiate contracts with large content producers. Hulu would give Google access to "real" TV shows that it so desparately needs to compete with traditional TV service (see Google TV).

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki