Hulu Rumor Mill: It's Down to Google and Dish

Dish Network has offered $1.9 billion for Hulu — and Google is willing to pay $4 billion for the Internet TV service but has attached stipulations to its bid, according to a Business Insider post citing anonymous sources.

Actually, Dish’s offer is closer to $1.4 billion, according to industry consultant Shahid Khan. Hulu would augment the video-streaming service that’s part of the Blockbuster Movie Pass (available initially only to Dish subs), which includes only around 4,000 movies and TV shows streamed to PCs (see Dish Bolts On Blockbuster Hybrid DVD, Streaming Service).

For Google, Hulu would give YouTube a much-needed shot in the arm of high-value content.

Dish isn’t attaching stipulations, whereas Google is asking for more content, on more platforms and for longer periods of time.

Khan, who heads MediaMorph, a provider of cross-platform media measurement, believes Google is the better choice for Hulu’s owners. “Google really needs to have a strong, big ‘premium content’ play,” he says.

In addition, Hulu’s content partners can benefit from a Google deal with long-term licensing deals as part of and/or in addition to the Hulu deal.

“Over the past few months, Google has been showing a much more content-owner friendly attitude,” Khan says. If that continues, Google “can be a very strong partner for the studios and networks — with very large sums of dollars flowing from Google to the content owners.”

But will Hulu’s owners — Disney/ABC, Fox and NBCUniversal — be willing to give Google online distribution rights to their crown jewels, at any price? The reason they formed Hulu in the first place was to control their own destiny, instead of having to deal with YouTube.

What do you think? Add your thoughts below.


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