Initial bids for a Hulu acquisition are due in by Wednesday and the offers are expected to vary wildly. According to the Wall Street Journal, they could range from $500 million up to $2 billion for the streaming service, with big names like Google, Amazon, DirecTV and Yahoo topping the list of potential suitors.
How much Hulu is worth to an interested company depends on multiple key factors. These include what type of television shows would be available to Hulu’s new owner, how long shows would run on the site and how soon those programs would be available online after their television premier.
The report indicates that a person close to Hulu said the company is expecting at least a few billion dollars for the service based on strong growth in users and content. Others believe the site is valued at much less and don’t anticipate a sale in this price range. It’s possible that negotiations could drag on for months and not result in a deal at all.
Hulu is jointly owned by parent companies News Corp., Walt Disney Co., Comcast Corp. and Providence Equity Partners LLC. It is believed that Yahoo initially came forward with a buyout offer for Hulu back in June. Since then we have heard rumors that Microsoft and Apple were also interested in an acquisition, but neither of these names were mentioned in the WSJ piece.
Google and Amazon could eventually end up battling head to head for Hulu as they have much deeper pockets than Yahoo. That is, if either of them are dead-set on ownership.