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Report: Hulu prepares for public offering

Hulu, the video portal created by NBC Universal and News Corp., is planning to file for an IPO of as much as $300 million, according to Reuters.

Screenshot by Greg Sandoval/CNET

Hulu, the video portal that is one of the most successful Web properties created by so-called old media, is planning to raise as much as $300 million from a public offering according to a story published today by Reuters.

The "clown company" has made good. That's how YouTube employees referred to the service before it launched in 2007. But there's nothing silly about a company with a $2 billion valuation. Hulu has emerged as legitimate competitor to the Web video leader, Google's YouTube.

But the race in online video has increasingly turned away from user-generated fare and more towards streaming premium TV shows and films to living room flat screens. That's where Hulu has outpaced YouTube. Still, the leader in that segment is Netflix.

Reuters is reporting that Hulu could file a prospectus for the IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission later this year and could launch the IPO in the first half of next year.

The video service, which offers an array of TV shows and a smattering of films, was built by NBC Universal and News Corp., parent company of 20th Century Fox. Disney now owns a large share of the company as well.