TVBizwire

Eight Bidders Lined Up for Hulu Deadline

Media reports say eight bidders are in play for the online streaming service Hulu. Nikki Finke reports on Deadline.com that seven named bidders and an unidentified pay-TV outlet are vying for outright ownership or at least an equity stake in the company.

“The last time Hulu was in play, it was 2011 and an auction sale went nowhere. And before that, in 2010, an IPO was contemplated but not pursued. So I’m somewhat skeptical about a successful outcome this time around,” Finke writes.

Hulu owners Walt Disney Co., News Corp. and Comcast Corp. set a “soft Wednesday deadline,” the piece notes, with most of the bids coming in by that time and a later bid from Yahoo coming in Friday.

Finke writes: “The other confirmed bidders include KKR & Co., Silver Lake Management/Hollywood agency WME, Guggenheim Digital (even though Guggenheim Securities advises Hulu’s board), Time Warner Cable (interested in becoming a 4th co-owner), DirecTV, and the Chernin Group (whose Peter Chernin helped create Hulu and has partnered with investors Qatar Holding and Providence Equity Partners).”

Amazon failed to submit a bid, the piece notes.

“The Los Angeles-based Hulu board began seeking the latest round of bidding in March,” Finke writes. “Now the question is whether Disney, News Corp, and Comcast will look for an exit and take their content with them, then license it back to Hulu for bigger fees but no exclusivity.”