DirecTV buying Hulu source claims

Chris Davies - Jun 14, 2013, 8:57am CDT
DirecTV buying Hulu source claims

DirecTV will buy Hulu in a roughly billion-dollar deal, it’s reported, with the acquisition in “very advanced stages” according to insiders familiar with the deal. The streaming provider has entertained interest from Time Warner Cable, Yahoo, and others over the past months, but is likely to settle on DirecTV as the new owner, sources tell PandoDaily, and a contract signed by the end of June.

Exact financial terms of the deal are unclear, though it’s said to be measured in the billions “but just barely.” That’s a far cry from the $2bn in bids that Hulu was fielding last year, though since then the promise of exclusive streaming deals with Walt Disney Co., News Corp, and Comcast has been withdrawn. Instead, Hulu’s new owner will have to negotiate deals as usual.

Even so, early feedback on the deal is that Hulu and DirecTV make a good match. The buyer lacks a built-out online offering – though it does have an iPad app for streaming – and could benefit from Hulu’s established name, not to mention its 4m paying Hulu Plus subscribers.

For Hulu, meanwhile, the billion dollar deal is better than some of the other serious offers believed to have been made. Yahoo, for instance, is said to have offered $800m for the company, though was later outbid by three unnamed rivals, all roughly in the $1bn ballpark.

What’s still unclear is what sort of deal structures and other agreements may be in place, aspects which are believed to have scuppered a $4bn offer from Google last year, for instance. There’s also the question of regulatory approval, with the DoJ potentially deciding to withhold its blessing.

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