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Official bidding for the sale of streaming video service Hulu ended last year when Hulu owners took it off the market, but that isn’t stopping others from making offers.
Former News Corp. president Peter Chernin has apparently made an offer to buy Hulu for $500 million, according to a Reuters report today that cites two unnamed sources familiar with the proposed deal. That amount is a fraction of the rumored $2 billion price tag that Hulu’s owners — Disney, News Corp., and Comcast — were originally asking for. However, it is possible that Chernin’s offer was actually higher, according to AllThingsD, although we don’t know how much.
Hulu was originally put up for sale because Disney and News Corp. (Comcast doesn’t have a say in direction of the company) couldn’t agree on a business strategy for the company. The high price tag, along with the uncertainty of future content licensing agreements on broadcast and cable network content, scared off many of the potential buyers, including Amazon, Google, AOL, and a handful of others. More recently, there have been some rumors that a few companies (Yahoo, Amazon, Guggenheim Digital Media) are still inquiring about buying the service.
An offer from Chernin, who departed News Corp. in 2009, would make a lot of sense, as he currently runs media holding company Chernin Group, which has plenty of investments in digital media properties such as Pandora. Chernin Group also has funding from initial Hulu investor Providence Equity, which sold its stake in the service last year for $200 million.
The one thing that we still don’t know about this deal is whether Hulu’s owners are still interested in selling the service, which they’ve expressed no official interest in doing at this point.