TiVo fighting DirecTV for Hulu analysts claim

TiVo is tipped to be among the potential suitors for Hulu, with the DVR company said to be a rival to DirecTV who, in reports late last week, was described as in "very advanced stages" to acquire the on-demand service. The suggestion, from market intelligence firm StreetAccount, described TiVo's recent share price bump as on "follow-through from speculation on a Hulu acquisition", Zatz Not Funny reports.

Hulu has been up for sale for some time now, though the streaming company's potential value has fluctuated during that period. Initially, there was chatter of an ongoing content deal being part of the deal, with current owners Walt Disney Co., News Corp, and Comcast all believed to be willing to include privileged licensing accessing.

However, since then those licensing deals are said to be off the table, and so Hulu's eventual owners will have to wade into the content market just like every other streaming provider. That unsurprisingly wiped a few billion off of the reported bids; at one point, more than $2bn was being offered for Hulu, but currently the company is said to be weighing three serious bids at around the $1bn mark.

DirecTV's offer is just above $1bn, so insiders claimed last week, together with a few conditions and provisos that are yet to be publicly detailed. The two are seen as a good fit, given DirecTV's online offering is currently underwhelming, and pushing out a new service to address that would be easier with the recognized Hulu brand and the existing 4m paying Hulu Plus subscribers.

However, there are possible advantages for TiVo, too. The company also falls short in its online and mobile device streaming, and TiVo's attempts to push subscription rates has struggled, unlike Hulu Plus' growth.

As the reports about DirecTV's interest suggested, nothing will be decided on the Hulu front until contracts are signed and money exchanged. If DirecTV and TiVo are two of the three $1bn bidders, that still leaves at least one company which might decide to pitch harder for Hulu.