With Dish Network's (Nasdaq: DISH) CEO confirming rumors that it's planning to launch a Netflix-type (Nasdaq: NFLX) streaming video offering "sooner than later," it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that competitor DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) is in the hunt for a similar component, this time Hulu.
The satellite-TV provider confirmed during its second quarter earnings call yesterday that it has been looking closely at Hulu, which is p for sale by owners News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA), Disney (NYSE: DIS) and Comcast's (Nasdaq:CMCSA) NBCUniversal.
CEO Michael White said the company would consider a bid based on the availability of programming from the owners, who recently announced they would make content available to new owners for five years, although unlikely on an exclusive basis.
Hulu, which has been for sale since June, has spoken with about a dozen potential buyers, including AT&T (NYSE: T), Google (Nasdaq:GOOG), Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT), which has said it's not interested in the company.
"I think suffice it to say we have consistently said that we want to make sure that we can make DirecTV available anytime and anywhere our customers want it. The Hulu software has some nice aspects to it, but you also have to kind of form a judgment about its business model and what you think that business model can generate," he said. "What we're looking for is, is there something there that would enable us to accelerate our `TV Everywhere,' but obviously I'd say it's critically dependent on the distribution relationships that it has in the contracts that underpin that, so I think there's still more for us to learn and we really haven't made a final judgment on it."
Fox Broadcasting, meanwhile, recently said it was pulling back its programming behind a paywall, saying it would only make content available to Hulu's free service and on Fox.com after eight days. Hulu Plus, and select cable companies would be allowed to make programming available to authenticated subscribers 24 hours after it aired.
- see this earnings call transcript from Morningstar
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