US media giants 21st Century Fox, NBCUniversal and The Walt Disney Company have announced that their online catch-up TV service Hulu is no longer for sale. The announcement follows a sales process that was rumoured to have attracted bids from Yahoo, Direct TV and Time Warner Cable, amongst others.
21st Century Fox, NBCU and Disney have also announced that they will provide Hulu with a fresh cash injection of US$750 million. This will assist Hulu in growing its business, against a number of competitors such as Netflix, iTunes and Amazon. In 2012, Hulu wrote $690 million in revenue.
Hulu has 30 million unique visitors per month via a multitude of devices (e.g. desktop, iOS etc.). Users can access content from over 400 partners either via an ad-free subscription service (Hulu Plus) or an advertiser funded service. Hulu Plus (the ad-free subscription service) has more than 4 million subscribers.
Chase Carey, President and Chief Operating Officer of the newly formed 21st Century Fox, said:
“We believe the best path forward for Hulu is a meaningful recapitalization that will further accelerate its growth under the current ownership structure.
We had meaningful conversations with a number of potential partners and buyers, each with impressive plans and offers to match, but with 21st Century Fox and Disney fully aligned in our collective vision and goals for the business, we decided to continue to empower the Hulu team, in this fashion, to continue the incredible momentum they’ve built over the last few years.”
Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company, said:
“Hulu has emerged as one of the most consumer friendly, technologically innovative viewing platforms in the digital era. As its evolution continues, Disney and its partners are committing resources to enable Hulu to achieve its maximum potential.”
Unfortunately there is no indication if the service will be available in Australia anytime soon. This is despite www.hulu.com.au directing users to Hulu’s US website and the company registering its trademark in Australia in 2011.