DirecTV and Time Warner said to make power play for Hulu

Several companies put in initial bids to buy the video streaming service, and now it's looking like both DirecTV and Time Warner also made follow-up offers.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read

As rumors have abounded about which company is going to get its hands on Hulu, it's looking like DirecTV and Time Warner Cable may be the runners-up.

According to Bloomberg, DirecTV is said to have put in a follow-up bid to purchase the streaming video service, and Time Warner has reportedly followed up by offering to buy a stake in the company and become an investor alongside the owners.

While the sale of Hulu is private, two people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg that both of these offers were made on Friday, which was the deadline for incoming bids.

Several other companies reportedly threw in initial bids to buy Hulu -- including Yahoo, Guggenheim Digital Media, and a joint proposal from the Chernin Group and AT&T -- but it's unclear if they also placed follow-up bids. Private equity firm Silver Lake was said to have made an initial bid for the video service but then reportedly bowed out on Friday.

Hulu has been looking for a buyer for the past couple of years. Its owners put it up for sale in 2011 but then called things off later that year, saying, "Our focus now rests solely on ensuring that our efforts as owners contribute in a meaningful way to the exciting future that lies ahead for Hulu."

But since that time, co-owner Providence Equity Partners sold its stake in the service, and Comcast's NBC Universal gave up its say in management matters. The remaining owners, Disney and News Corp., have failed to agree on Hulu's strategy.

It's no surprise that more than one big name is making a play for the video service. Hulu says it has 4 million subscribers paying $7.99 per month, and it posted $695 million in revenue in 2012.

When contacted by CNET, both Hulu and Time Warner declined to comment on the alleged follow-up offers. CNET also contacted DirecTV for comment, and we'll update the story when we get more information.