More potential bidders have emerged for Hulu, and incumbent pay-TV distributors are now said to be among those interested in the online video company.
Reports indicate that Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) and perhaps one other pay-TV company have expressed interest in buying all or part of Hulu from its owners--Disney (NYSE: DIS), Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA).
Interest in Hulu from such potential suitors should not be a surprise. Cable and satellite TV providers are increasingly looking for ways to sell mobile and online access to the shows and networks they deliver to traditional TV sets. Hulu's apps on mobile devices, game consoles and devices such as Roku could provide a leg up to a pay-TV provider in pushing forward "TV Everywhere" services that the industry has been slowly deploying.
That distribution is valuable, BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield wrote Friday. "Hulu has invested significant financial resources and time in building a great user experience, which is no small feat in a world that has shifted from building one interface for the desktop PC world to now having to create for a seemingly endless array of smartphones, tablets, gaming devices and IP-connected TVs and related devices," he wrote. "Hulu has not only built for an amazing array of devices... but the apps work incredibly well across these devices."
Yahoo, Guggenheim Partners and ex-Fox executive Peter Chernin have also reportedly been interested in buying the company.
Disney's ABC streams live TV programming
Yahoo said to kick the tires on Hulu
Hulu plus claims 4 million subscribers
Correction, May 21, 2013: Providence Equity Partners sold its 10 percent stake in Hulu in October, 2012.