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If Hulu's still up for sale, the price of any deal just went up

Company says it will end 2012 with $695 million in revenue, now projecting more than 3 million paying subscribers.

Charles Cooper Former Executive Editor / News
Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.
Charles Cooper
Remember all those "who is going to buy Hulu" rumors that made the rounds? So far, they're just industry gossip. But in his annual state-of-the-state message, Hulu's chief executive made sure to leave any would-be acquirers with a case of remorse for not having the trigger on a deal.

Hulu is going to finish 2012 with about $695 million in sales and more than 3 million paying subscribers, according to CEO Jason Kilar, who today disclosed the news in a blog post. He also said that Hulu's revenue had grown 65 percent from 2011, without mentioning whether the company was profitable.

"We are closing on a big 2012," Kilar said, in what had to be a moment of schadenfreude given that negotiations to sell the company last year foundered over the price of any deal.

"The number of Hulu Plus subscribers has more than doubled over the past year," Sklar wrote. He added that in 2012, Hulu had more than 1,000 advertisers, 28 percent more than last year.

Hulu, which is owned by Walt Disney, News Corp., and Comcast NBC Universal, was reportedly on Apple's radar as an acquisition target earlier in the year. Among other potential suitors, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have also been mentioned as having shown interest in buying Hulu.