updated 06:00 pm EDT, Tue June 21, 2011
Hulu rumored selling itself off
Two insiders said Tuesday night that Hulu was considering selling itself after having been given a buyout offer. The source hadn't been identified but, according to CNBC's Julia Boorstin, was "not Google." Hulu hadn't decided what to do about the offer other than exploring its possibilities.
The TV streaming service has always been somewhat insulated from takeover prospects due to its role. Having formal investments from Disney/ABC, Fox, and NBC, any buyout would likely require more explicit consent from the studios to go ahead. Any acquirer might face opposition from studios if they believed it would lure too many viewers away from traditional TV or favor one studio over another.
The list of candidates isn't clear. Apple isn't probable given its emphasis on paid content and selection in iTunes. Netflix might show interest but, apart from being relatively small for an acquisition, could face resistance from studios that already hesitate to give Netflix their most recent TV shows.
Hulu hadn't commented on any discussions as of this writing.