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Report: Hulu courting a 'range' of potential suitors

The streaming-video company will be meeting with possible buyers in the "coming weeks," according to The Wall Street Journal.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

Hulu is planning to hold discussions with a "range" of potential buyers, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Citing anonymous sources, the Journal reported today that Hulu will be meeting with potential suitors "in the coming weeks." However, forces at play within the company might make a sale difficult, the Journal's sources said.

According to the sources, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar is currently having trouble getting his company's owners--ABC, Fox, and NBC Universal--to offer more content to the site. The owners reportedly believe that they can make more money on their content by partnering with other services.

Variety reported last week that Hulu was able to extend its licensing deal with Fox Broadcasting. The partnership will reportedly keep Fox content on the service, but increase the "volume" of ads running in the broadcaster's shows.

Hulu reportedly put itself up for sale last week, following an unsolicited request by Yahoo to discuss acquiring the company. Since then, the streaming-video provider has hired investment banks to find companies that may be interested in acquiring it.

However, as the Journal points out, there is seemingly a divide between Hulu's management and its investors over how the service should operate. In fact, in February, Hulu's CEO wrote in a blog post that television executives, whom he called "incumbents," are resistant to change to their own detriment. His comments followed reports that he had disputes with Hulu investors, prompting some to wonder if his days at the company were numbered.

Those issues, combined with an uncertainty over how content providers will support Hulu in the future--and concerns that the service is being easily overshadowed by the top video-streaming provider in the business, Netflix--might mean a tough road is ahead of Hulu if it decides to sell.

But that so far hasn't stopped it from gauging interest. According to the Journal, Hulu's investment banks have contacted companies across the "media, technology, and communications" industries.

Hulu did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment on the buyout rumors.