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Microsoft to buy Hulu?

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Microsoft is one of several companies interested in buying online video giant Hulu.  Anonymous sources said that Google and Yahoo! have also met with Hulu reps in meetings arranged by Morgan Stanley and Guggenheim Partners, their financial advisors.  The three potential suitors are eyeing the mass of popular shows that millions over viewers tune in to online, and the over 600 advertisers that have jumped on board with Hulu, including big players like McDonald's, Toyota and Johnson & Johnson. Of course, as these things go, none of the alleged parties are admitted anything.

Hulu's ownership has been struggling with the site's popularity, as they have attracted advertising revenue, but at the same time have caught serious flak from cable and satellite providers, who carry the same content.  They backed off from an earlier initial public offering that was projected to earn them a cool $2 billion, so it is thought that that may be what it would take for a sale to happen.  Netflix, who is seen as a similar kind of service, is valued at just about the same amount. 

Microsoft seems like a good fit, as they already offer access to Hulu Plus on XBox Live.  The acquisition would make further integration with XBL, and potentially WP7, that much easier and sweeter.  Their recent purchase of Skype is a clear sign that they are not afraid to throw around some cash to expand their multimedia capabilities. 

Source: Los Angeles Times; Via: SeattlePi

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Reader comments

Microsoft to buy Hulu?

17 Comments

Wow!! can you imagine Microsoft buying this what options you could have with xbox, windows, and wp7. This would be sick and if google gets this this could be a bad thing.

LoL As of right now, most of HULU's content is off limit because I'm in Canada... If Microsoft buys it they'll send me an email saying hey watch hulu content on your phone...except if you're in Canada cuz you know... it's Canada... Sorry had to rant, I'll let it go when I can buy music on the marketplace.

I feel for ya, and those damn treaties and contracts mess it up for the little guys. We can't understand why it is so difficult to give people on the other side of a boundary/border can't get something. Not being sarcastic, it does suck.

The **** you talking about. You can already access this with a XBOX. What, you think they'll offer it for free. SMH.

I dont care WHO buys Hulu.. I dont think itll change a thing when it comes to content. The big cable companies hate that consumers are watching online when the money is all in their subscriptions and television ads.. Im sick of networks having 50% or 60% of their primetime lineup online and making you wait arbitrary wait times to watch their shows.. USA used to show their shows 24 hours after air.. now the first two are aired 24 hours and the rest are pushed back 30 days from airdate.. FOX makes you wait two weeks.. Syfy makes you wait 30 days in most cases, and then for no reason, theyll make you wait until the season is over! I want the company that can leverage big cable the most to win.

I have Hulu+ and am going to cancel it because most of the content that they have that I am interested in watching I can watch on Netflix commercial free. The other content they have that I am intrested in watching is usually Web Only, and I use Playon to watch that. Right now I am just waiting for my son to work through the reruns he likes to watch before canceling Hulu+.MS would have to offer it as part of the Xbox live Gold package for free or make a whole lot more content available for me get excited about them buying them.

Why the **** does MS need to buy Hulu? Just make a Zune Pass for video subscriptions. The Zune video store has much better content and video quality than Hulu already. The only problem with Zune's video store is that there is no subscription plan like Netflix Instant/Amazon Prime/Hulu.

I'd be happier if no one bought Hulu. Networks are stifling themselves because they're only looking out for themselves. Hulu sounds great but it sucks knowing not all the major networks support it. While competition is great, I feel this is one situation where there are too many options. It's driving people away from one particular service and devauling them all as a result. Before networks charge people for streaming then they should make sure there's enough content/value to warrant a monthly fee.

I think Netflix would be a better choice if Microsoft wanted to haul off and acquire a internet film & television company. I imagine Netflix's instant streaming service could fit quite well into the Zune ecosystem as a film/TV equivilent to the Zune Pass. Besides, I suspect a huge amount of Netflix subscribers would agree that a Metro UI for the Netflix website could only be a step up; Netflix recently redid their website's layout, and to say it has not gone over well with their userbase is a massive understatement.