Hulu is still for sale, and as of yet, has not been purchased by anyone. You might remember that those companies interested in acquiring Hulu were reportedly expected to turn their bids in on Wednesday of this week. However, according to the Hollywood reporter, those in the running were given an extension until the end of this week. Which means the bids are due in sometime tomorrow.
The companies in the running appear to be some of the same ones that have been rumored all along:
The only other suitor mentioned in the Hollywood Reporter piece is South Korean mobile company SK Telecom, who actually issued a statement saying they would not be participating in the Hulu auction.
I'll be curious to see how quickly information leaks out regarding the various bids--you have to know someone's going to get a scoop with some actual numbers.
The bids are reportedly expected to be between $500 million and $2 billion. Now, that may seem like a pretty huge gap, but the final numbers will depend on all the various licensing deals Hulu already has in place, and how many of them come with the deal.
All four of the companies in the running have deep pockets, though some are deeper than others. And I think they all have a justifiable business reason to go after Hulu (again, some more than others).
Don't be surprised if there turns out to be another bidder or two that we find out about after the fact--we are still dealing with the world of anonymous sources, who can often turn out to be wrong.
Something in my gut tells me it'll be DirecTV or Amazon, but it's not based on anything but a hunch. I think Google would love those licensing deals, and the relationship that comes with them. But the future licensing agreements aren't guaranteed, and outside of some ad technology, I think Google doesn't need Hulu. They already have the platform in place that they want to use moving forward in YouTube.
I'll be back tomorrow with an update if there's any news at all regarding the auction and sale of Hulu. The outcome could shake up the online video space considerably.