Hulu Owners Drop Plans To Sell The Video Site
Unable to find a buyer willing to pay anything close to their asking price, the owners of the TV video site Hulu have announced their "decision to terminate the Hulu sale process." The bickering owners -- News Corp, which contributes mostly Fox TV shows to the website; Disney, which contributes mostly ABC shows; Comcast, which contributes mostly NBC shows; and Providence Equity Partners -- said on Thursday that they will now focus "solely on ensuring that our efforts as owners contribute in a meaningful way to the exciting future that lies ahead for Hulu." Over the past year, the company has offered two separate services -- one paid ($9.95 per month), the other free -- but the two services have reportedly confused users, driving many of them away from both. Moreover, today's (Friday) Wall Street Journal observed that "in recent years, [Hulu's] media owners have become more reluctant to give their content away for free, with some executives arguing the site was a headache that could undermine the traditional TV business." And the Journal noted that one of the problems the owners faced in trying to sell Hulu was that bidders wanted expanded rights deals to popular shows, which the owners were unwilling to grant as part of the purchase. The website techdirt.com headlined its report on the Hulu non-sale this way "Hulu's Owners Unable To Find Idiots Willing To Overpay To Take Hulu Off Their Hands Before They Kill It."