Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 26-08-2011
Hulu.com's quest to sell itself has been extended a little longer: The deadline to submit a bid for the online TV leader has been pushed out to the end of the week to give potential bidders a little more time to break down Hulu's finances.
According to a report in Reuters citing the ever-popular "unnamed sources," the deadline was extended to accomodate late comers as well, including SK Telecom, the Korean service provider. Reuters said it is throwing its hat in the ring to join Yahoo, Google, DirecTV or Amazon.com as potential suitors. Microsoft was reportedly initially interested, but later dropped out of the process. AT&T is also reportedly in the hunt.
Hulu, which is jointly owned by NBCUniversal, News Corp, Disney, and Providence Equity Partners, is rumoured to fetch around $2 billion for its sale. And on paper Hulu looks like a good bet. It expects to reach the 1 million sub mark for the Hulu Plus paid service by the end of the summer, and CEO Jason Kilar said it should reach $500 million in revenue for 2011. That represents significant growth: in 2010 the company made $263 million.
"In our first 7.5 months, we are fast approaching the 1 million paying subscriber milestone (we already have over a million when including those in a one-week free trial period)," he wrote. "We just closed our biggest month in Hulu Plus paid subscriber net additions by a healthy margin; we added more paying subscribers in June than we did in April and May combined."
The 1 million subs for Hulu Plus may seem small compared to Netflix’ 22-million-strong base, but considering it just launched in November, the additions are notable. Kilar went on to say that most importantly, the business model is viable and profitable.
"Hulu Plus is already revealing our ability to compensate content owners at the high end of the market for a given body of content," he noted. "Today, we proudly and profitably pay the content community approximately $8 per subscriber per month for the content offering you see today on Hulu Plus. A portion of the $8 payment to the content community comes from our $7.99 subscription fee; the balance comes from the revenue we generate through advertising."