Time Warner Cable Said to be Interested in Hulu16 May, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Add Time Warner Cable to a growing list of media companies reportedly kicking the tires of Hulu.com, which its corporate parents are quietly peddling to interested parties for the second time in three years.
No. 2 cable operator TWC is said to be interested in acquiring an equity stake in the online content aggregator co-owned by The Walt Disney Co., News Corp. and Comcast, according to a Bloomberg report, which cited sources familiar with the situation.
Comcast is a silent partner as part of an agreement with federal regulators following its acquisition of NBC Universal.
TWC would conceivably use Hulu as a means of upping its TV Everywhere profile — an ongoing initiative to combat burgeoning SVOD services.
Hulu, which includes subscription video-on-demand service Hulu Plus, is a well-known brand, thanks to witty Super Bowl ads, next-day access to myriad primetime TV shows and its user-friendly interface. Hulu Plus ended the first quarter with 4 million subscribers, with some analysts projecting 6 million subs, $1 billion in revenue (largely advertising) and a small profit by the end of the year.
“Hulu’s a great asset,” BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield told Bloomberg.
Disney and News Corp. in 2012 halted bids for Hulu when interested bids failed to reach the $2 billion asking price, and the property was re-evaluated.
Hulu, whose founder and CEO Jason Kilar left in April, again retained Guggenheim Partners to explore a possible sale of the company. Interested parties reportedly include former News Corp. executive Peter Chernin and Yahoo.
Officially, Disney and News Corp. aren’t commenting. News Corp. COO Chase Carey, in the company’s fist quarter fiscal call, made no comment about a possible sale, choosing instead to extol the virtues of the brand.