Bids for Hulu due this week

Initial bids for Hulu are due by Wednesday with early estimates the online video portal service will pull offers between $500 million and $2 billion, depending upon what type of content is included in the deal and when it would be available.

Hulu

Hulu's parent companies guarantee potential buyers at least five years of content including 30 Rock (pictured).

Its three parents, News Corp. (NYSE: NWSA), Disney (NYSE: DIS) and Comcast's (Nasdaq: CMCSA) NBCUniversal, have said they would guarantee at least five years of content and, perhaps, even some exclusivity to the eventual buyer.

Four companies are still considered strong contenders to take Hulu home including Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO), Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV).

A larger issue than content guarantees, however, is when that content would be available. The trio recently negotiated a new deal with Hulu that allows them to delay their content from running on the free version of the site for up to eight days, a nod to the concern the media companies share that over-the-top delivery of content is potentially eroding their own broadcast viewership and that of their cable partners. They would, however, make the content available to subscribers of the company's premium service, Hulu Plus.

And although Hulu Plus is nearing 1 million subscribers, there's concern that those numbers haven't grown fast enough.

For more:
- see this Wall Street Journal article

Related articles:
Report: ABC ready to join Fox in pulling new shows from streaming sites
Fox pulls free shows from Fox.com, Hulu
Hulu plans launch in Japan, but 'free' isn't in the plan

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