In the wake of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s $1.1 billion acquisition of blogging platform Tumblr, the media giant appears to have its wallet open once again with sources claiming that the media giant has submitted a formal bid for Hulu. While Yahoo has yet to comment, it is believed that they have joined a number of others in their pursuit of the video streaming site.
The list of others interested include:
- Time Warner Cable
- William Morris Endeavor, along with with PE backer Silverlake
- Guggenheim Digital
- The Chernin Group
Yahoo, Hulu Deal Meeting:
Sources said CEO Marissa Mayer also had an extensive getting-to-know-you meeting, which was apparently not held at Hulu’s offices in Santa Monica, Calif., along with COO Henrique De Castro. This discussion came after Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s failed bid to purchase France Telecom’s Dailymotion video service after a top government official in France said that Yahoo would not be allowed to own 75 percnet of the company.
As always, the question with Hulu has always been what its various owners—News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) (NASDAQ:NWS), The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) and Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA)—are actually willing to sell, and what price. Getting that group to agree has been a point of contention for years as rumors of Hulu’s imminent sale have swirled. The three also represent the majority of programming offered to Hulu’s premium subscribers.
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“I think video is really important … video is something that we’re all innately designed and born to experience, everyone is born being able to watch and to hear,” said Marissa Mayer earlier this month in New York. “Video is just this amazing format.”
Mayer was of course working for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) when they purchased YouTube. YouTube is the giant when it comes to video and announced in the last few months that they are now enjoying over 1 billion monthly users.
Neither Hulu, nor Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) has commented on the bid and it remains to be seen how much of Yahoo’s cash Mayer is willing to part with given the recent acquisition of Tumblr. While last year Hulu was a top-ten video site it has since given up that claim and slipped to number twelve. Whether the three owners of Hulu will ever reach an agreement to sell the company remains to be seen, but the likelihood is certainly inching closer to reality as the list of interested parties grows.