Friday, July 12, 2013

Hulu NOT for sale

After the bids were in and reviewed, the owners of Hulu have decided to stay their owners.  If they can agree on a strategy, they have the best chance to build a valuable content portal.  Per the New York Times, "the three companies that mutually own Hulu — 21st Century Fox, the Walt Disney Company and NBCUniversal — said they would make a new investment of $750 million and use Hulu’s technology to compete against other online distributors like Netflix."  

For the bidders, it represents a real loss as Hulu is seen as a key player in the streaming video business, going after Netflix, Redbox, and others, as well as attracting cord cutters leaving cable.  For one owner, NBC and its owner Comcast, is in an unusual position, straddling the line between cable distributor and content creator.  Neither Fox or Disney have such worries although they too have to consider what the success of Hulu means to their cable license deals.  Still, with windows and exclusivity, they can build agreements that keep the dollars flowing.  

As for other M&A deals, I expect to hear a cable or satellite deal before end of year, either with Charter - Time Warner Cable - Cablevision or DirecTV -Dish.  Hulu is off the market for now but something else should be started soon.