Hulu owners offer buyers content access guarantees, exclusivity

Potential buyers of Hulu will be guaranteed five years of access to shows from owners News Corp, (NASDAQ: NWSA), Disney (NYSE: DIS) and Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) NBCUniversal, according to a published report, including possible exclusivity to content for two years.

Bloomberg reported that Hulu, which has been for sale since last month, has spoken with about a dozen potential buyers, including AT&T (NYSE: T), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

A stumbling block to the sale, as it was when Hulu weighed a potential IPO in 2010, was the site's continued access to the content that's driven it to nearly 1 million paid users and revenues that are projected to reach $500 million this year. Pundits questioned Hulu's potential success with an IPO, worrying that any of its three media owners could cut off access to popular shows or reserve advertising space for themselves, cutting off a major source of Hulu revenue. The IPO quietly was dropped in December 2010.

A guarantee of access to content would make a Hulu significantly more appealing, especially to Microsoft and Amazon, which, Bloomberg cited sources as saying, were unlikely to pursue a buy without it.

Earlier this month, at the Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, Disney CEO Bob Iger said the partners were committed to selling Hulu.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

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