updated 07:45 am EDT, Tue September 27, 2011
Google bid higher, but wanted special conditions
Sources say that Dish Network is the frontrunner in the bid to buy Hulu, beating out Google, Amazon, and Yahoo. Its offer is reportedly in the range $1.9 billion. Other bidders may have been put off by Hulu's plans to move away from its free, ad-supported model or the lack of certainty about the availability of content. For instance Google's bid was in the $4 billion range according to sources, but came with the demand that the networks continue to provide programming after their current contracts expire in a few years.
Dish Network may be motivated by its plans to offer streaming video to compete with Netflix. If so, Dish's bid may be based on its assessment of Hulu's technology, not its catalog. Dish recently paid $320 million for the rights to Blockbuster's movie rights library.
Hulu's owners are reportedly disappointed that the bidding wasn't higher. The company has not announced if it will accept the bid from Dish. [via Business Insider]