Several companies including the likes of Amazon, Yahoo! and Dish Network have put in bids to buy over Hulu. Google is the latest to join the bidding war and rumour has it that Google’s willing to outbid them all.
Obviously, Google must think they can get more out of Hulu than the other companies – they wouldn’t want to buy yet another video hosting site and then struggle to monetise it, would they?
It has been reported by the Financial Times that Amazon, Yahoo! and Dish Network have offered between $1.5 billion and $2 billion to Hulu in exchange for ownership of the free video site, its subscription service and the rights to exclusive content for at least two years.
The details of what Google is willing to offer Hulu are not yet available. It is also not known whether or not Google has already made an offer to Hulu.
It is quite possible that Google is looking for access to more content and video scene search technology from Hulu, and the deal would then have to be for a longer period of time. It’s equally possible that Google just doesn’t want anyone else to compete with YouTube’s newly formed movie and TV show streaming business.
An executive of Hulu, involved with the deal-making process has said, “Normally we would have thrown people out if they’d said that.” In spite of such strong statements, Hulu is still talking to Google, so it is quite obvious that the offer being made by Google is probably too good to let go.
While the money involved seems to be big, there is still the possibility that Google and YouTube could eventually swallow Hulu, and that may deter Hulu from agreeing to a deal with Google.
It is also quite possible that Hulu’s parent companies, News Corp and Disney, may decide not to sell the company to anybody at all.