Hulu owners opt to keep online video service

The entertainment studios behind Hulu took the online video service off the auction block Friday, opting instead to pump an additional $750 million into the Netflix rival.

21st Century Fox chief operating officer Chase Carey speaks during a hearing on November 17, 2010 in Washington, DC. The entertainment studios behind Hulu took the online video service off the auction block Friday, opting instead to pump an additional $750 million into the Netflix rival.

"We believe the best path forward for Hulu is a meaningful recapitalization that will further accelerate its growth under the current ownership structure," 21st Century Fox chief operating officer Chase Carey said in a statement.

"We had meaningful conversations with a number of potential partners and buyers, each with impressive plans and offers to match, but with 21st Century Fox and Disney fully aligned in our collective vision and goals for the business, we decided to continue to empower the Hulu team."

The list of bidders for Hulu reportedly included satellite television company DirecTV; US telecom titan AT&T, and Internet pioneer Yahoo!

A Friday deadline had been set for submitting final bids for Hulu, which was launched in 2007 in a partnership between Comcast's NBCUniversal; 21st Century Fox, and The Walt Disney Company.

While it remained unclear how high bids had climbed, DirecTV had reportedly lodged an early-round bid of more than $1 billion.

"Hulu has emerged as one of the most consumer friendly, technologically innovative viewing platforms in the digital era," said Disney chief executive Robert Iger.

"As its evolution continues, Disney and its partners are committing resources to enable Hulu to achieve its maximum potential."

Hulu, which has been battling rivals like Netflix in the area of streaming video, generated some $690 million in revenues last year. It has around four million subscribers to its premium video service.

Hulu also has a free service supported by advertising.

About the author

columnist
Writer: AFP
Position: News agency