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hulu jason kilar

Anonymous sources say a behind-closed-doors bidding war for Hulu is heatedly playing out with bids of up to $1 billion form big-name players like Yahoo, Time Warner, and now DirecTV.

HUlu’s current owners are the Walt Disney Company, Fox News parent company News Corp, and Comcast. Rumor’s of the service’s potential sale have been flying all over the place since 2011, when a then-Carol-Bartz-led Yahoo was rumored to have made an unsolicited offer for the site. However, the owners reportedly wanted more for Hulu than anyone was willing to offer, and the sale was terminated.

Today, we’re reading that several sources have pointed to DirecTV as the latest in a string of rumored potential buyers. Back in May, we heard that Time Warner was in the running, either as a potential acquirer or a minority stakeholder.

Also, a now-Marissa-Mayer-led Yahoo is said to be bidding $600 million to $800 million to take over Hulu — an interesting bid, given the company’s recent $1.1 billion Tumblr acquisition.

Also said to be angling for Hulu ownership are Silver Lake Management, Guggenheim Digital, investment firm KKR, and media executive Peter Chernin.

In its owners’ favor, Hulu recently announced record growth, including a bump up to 4 million paid monthly subscribers in the first quarter of 2013, up a whole million from December 2012.

Hulu’s upcoming slate of original shows includes half-hour western comedy Quick Draw, East Los High, The Awesomes, Behind the Mask, The Wrong Mans, and Mother Up!, as well as new seasons of Pramface, Prisoners of War, The Only Way is Essex, Braquo, and Moone Boy.

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