Hulu’s owners have taken the streaming site off the auction block — again. NBCUniversal, The Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox announced a decision to keep the site and invest $750 million in it, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
This is the second time the owners have put the site on the block only to then cancel the sale, the piece notes.
"A news release announcing the decision was jointly issued by 21st Century Fox, NBCUniversal and The Walt Disney Co. on Friday morning. It came after a final bid that reportedly topped $1 billion from DirecTV, one that reportedly topped $900 million from Peter Chernin and AT&T and interest from Time Warner Cable in acquiring a stake," THR reports.
Said Disney Chairman and CEO Robert Iger: “Hulu has emerged as one of the most consumer friendly, technologically innovative viewing platforms in the digital era. As its evolution continues, Disney and its partners are committing resources to enable Hulu to achieve its maximum potential."
Chase Carey, president and chief operating officer of 21st Century Fox, added: “We believe the best path forward for Hulu is a meaningful recapitalization that will further accelerate its growth under the current ownership structure."
THR notes: "The auction had drawn initial bids bids from Yahoo, Silver Lake Management with William Morris Endeavor, and also a final-round bid from Guggenheim Digital Media, the parent company of The Hollywood Reporter, in partnership with private equity firm KKR. Hulu generated about $695 million in revenue in 2012 via ad sales and through 4 million subscribers who pay for monthly access to Hulu Plus, the company’s premium service."
Hulu’s owners made a similar move two years ago after initiating a sale of the company. "Two years ago, some potential buyers were hesitant over a lack of assurances that Hulu would retain access to TV programming from Disney, Fox and NBCU if those companies were no longer equity owners," THR notes.