Thursday, November 12, 2015

Time Warner Wants A Piece Of Hulu

Time Warner wants another streaming business and that might include a piece of Hulu.  Per Deadline Hollywood, they are in early discussions to take a piece of the pie and join the Disney, Fox, NBC partnership.  But does it make sense?

I ask that question for a number of reasons.  First, they already own HBO Now and HBO Go and have a successful platform and subscription business that they control 100%.  Second, the idea of being a partial owner in Hulu will only add to the dysfunction of running the Hulu brand.  The old adage that "too many cooks spoil the broth" means that one more owner will further handcuff the strategic growth and tactical abilities of the Hulu brand to grow.  And third, that Time Warner's other cable content brands lack enough quality content to be anything more than long tail entertainment. 

Can an investment by Time Warner in the Hulu business draw a positive ROI?  I am sure the financial analysts are asking all the same questions in determining how to best improve revenue.  There is no guarantee of success.  Time Warner only needs to look internally at some of their failed networks like CNN SI, the Sports Illustrated Network.  I am sure there are other misses as well.  That is not to say an investment in digital doesn't make sense; but, wouldn't you rather have total control in your next business opportunity then a 25% position.

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