According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Disney CEO Bob Igor has gone on the record confirming the rumors that Hulu is up for sale. The joint venture owned by Disney, News Corp, and Comcast/NBC Universal is expected to reach a million registered users and more than $500 million in revenues this year.
One problem is that Hulu does not own its content, and if it can’t get licenses for programming, it’s out of business. Fortunately, it recently renewed agreements with News Corp (which owns Fox) and Disney (which owns ABC) which provides it with a stable supply of content.
There are still plenty of rumors surrounding this situation, the most intriguing of which is that Google may be the front-runner to purchase the service. The company is a good candidate because it has deep pockets and and excellent record of finding synergy among its online offerings. It already has YouTube, and is expanding the full-length video offerings available through that site. It would have the resources and the clout to push Hulu to the next level so that the service could compete successfully with the rapidly-expanding Netflix.
The next generation of “television” is changing quickly, and this could be one of the tipping points in its development.