Even as some question its future after the Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA)-NBC Universal acquisition is finally sealed, Hulu is reportedly readying an initial public offering (IPO).
There are several factors at work here--both for and against the idea of going public. On the plus side, Hulu is showing signs that it wants to emerge as a serious pay TV provider via its Hulu Plus service and a connection with Apple's new iPad. The service would charge willing subscribers $9.99 a month for access to whole seasons of TV shows on a number of Internet-connected devices in addition to the Apple products.
On the minus side, Hulu doesn't have programming from everyone--although CBS is reportedly ready to cave in and join the party--and its viability has been questioned in the event of a newly powerful Comcast, which may have ideas of its own how to get its content out to the public. Right now, though, Comcast is telling anyone who's interested that it won't mess with the Hulu model.
Of course, there's the final bit of the equation. Like buying a house or holding a job, these are not the best of times economically and an IPO might not make sense.
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