As if this week's intrigue around Hulu putting itself up for sale hasn't been enough, Bloomberg is reporting that Disney has tentatively agreed to renew Hulu's distribution rights for ABC programs. The deal is said to mirror another tentative deal, between Fox and Hulu, which Variety reported earlier this week. Both deals are believed to require Hulu carry an increased ad load.
Since company representatives aren't quoted, it's hard to know how legit the renewals are, or whether they're just another leak to support one of the many agendas players involved in Hulu have. Of course, that's how the week began - with the WSJ citing unidentified sources saying that Yahoo had made an overture to acquire Hulu. That was followed by news that Hulu had retained 2 investment banks to explore a sale, and then with the Fox renewal news.
It's hard to tell what's going on with Hulu, but one thing that's clear - a disproportionate amount of Hulu's value is tied up in its distribution agreements with ABC, Fox and NBC. Any potential buyer will require that they stay intact for a reasonable period of time to make a deal worthwhile. One interesting thing to watch - if word doesn't follow shortly that Comcast/NBC has also tentatively renewed its deal with Hulu that could indicate that Comcast isn't keen to see a Hulu sale occur.
But then again, who knows, the whole week surrounding Hulu has been speculation on top of speculation.
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