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Hulu, Time Warner Cable Halt Partnership Talks

24 Jul, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The corporate owners of Hulu.com and Time Warner Cable have reportedly stopped negotiations regarding the No. 2 cable operator assuming a 25% stake in the online content aggregator.

The Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox, which jointly announced an end to selling Hulu for the second time since 2011 on July 12, had continued talks with TWC. Those discussions have been shelved indefinitely due to pricing issues, according to a Reuters’ report, which cited sources familiar with the situation.

Hulu’s third corporate owner, Comcast, is precluded from directly participating in any third-party merger/partnership talks as a condition of its purchase of NBC Universal.

Disney, Fox and Comcast has pledged $750 million in added funding to Hulu, which analysts and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings believe the service will use to up its third-party and proprietary content license rights.

SVOD unit, Hulu Plus, ended the first quarter with more than 4 million subscribers. Hulu and Amazon appear to have about the same number of subscribers, wrote Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells in a July 22 letter to shareholders.

“Now that Hulu has more money to spend, content prices may rise further, but we have many multi-year deals in place to mitigate this,” Hastings and Wells wrote.

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