The auction for Hulu is said to have attracted at least three bids in excess of $1 billion, according to a report in Reuters. The new, higher bids could finally lead to a sale of part or all of the site, which has teetered on the verge of a major liquidity event such as a sale or initial public offering for years.
An auction for Hulu has yielded offers from a variety of bidders including DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, the Chernin Group, KKR & Co. and Yahoo as well as a joint bid from Silver Lake Management and William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, according to reports in Bloomberg, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal .
More potential bidders have emerged for Hulu, and incumbent pay-TV distributors are now said to be among those interested in the online video company.
Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN has reportedly talked to at least one wireless carrier about possibly subsidizing users' data plans so ESPN video and audio data would not count against users' monthly usage limits.
The Walt Disney Co. introduced its Watch ABC app in New York and Philadelphia Tuesday, giving authenticated pay-TV viewers there the ability to watch some of its TV station programming live on iOS devices and the Kindle Fire and online at ABC.com.
While a free preview for the new ABC Now app that launches Tuesday will allow any viewer in New York or Philadelphia to stream live video, subscribers of Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and Dish Network may not be able to use the app after the preview ends on June 30.
Lobbying groups representing big and small cable operators offered conflicting views on the Television Consumer Freedom Act proposed by Sen. John McCain (R.- Ariz.).
Reports continue to surface that new parties are evaluating Hulu as a potential acquisition target. Yahoo is the latest corporate name to come up in Hulu's reported sale discussions.
Hulu has hired Guggenheim Partners to offer advice on a potential sale at the same time that the financial services company is reportedly considering its own bid, three sources told Reuters.
Peter Chernin, who, as president of News Corp. was on hand at the birth of Hulu in 2007, now wants to become more involved in the juvenile service and is willing to put up $500 million to do so.