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Yahoo CEO Meets With Hulu

8 May, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has reportedly met with Hulu executives in a meet-and-greet to discuss a possible bid for the online content aggregator and subscription video-on-demand service, said AllthingsD.com, which cited sources familiar with the situation.

Yahoo’s interest in Hulu increased after French regulators dashed the Internet pioneer’s attempt to acquire a majority stake in Dailymotion, the video service owned by France Télékom.

Yahoo was an original bidder for Hulu in 2011 when its corporate owners, The Walt Disney Co., News Corp. and Comcast, briefly put the platform up on the auction block. That sale process was aborted when bidding fell short of a proposed $2 billion threshold, and Disney and News Corp. wanted to re-access their strategies.

The current effort to lure Hulu suitors comes as the platform reportedly is losing money, despite generating $700 million in revenue in 2012 and 4 million Plus subscribers through Q1. The perennial top online video destination has recently fallen out of the top 10 video platforms, according to recent comScore data.

New bidders include former News Corp. executive Peter Chernin, Amazon and Guggenheim Partners, which is headed by former Yahoo interim CEO Ross Levinsohn.

Comcast gave up its say in Hulu as part an agreement with regulators when it acquired NBC Universal.

A key sticking point to any Hulu suitor is content rights to both proprietary and third-party fare. AllthingsD, which is owned by News Corp, said Hulu’s owners are offering two-to-three years of content rights. The platform is also reportedly saddled with about $300 million in debt.

Nonetheless, Mayer seemed upbeat about online video in a May 7 interview at the Wired confab in New York.

“I think video is really important … [it] is something that we’re all innately designed and born to experience, everyone is born being able to watch and to hear,” Mayer said.


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