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Hulu Auction: Cable Companies Should Make Joint Bid, John Malone Says

Andy Forssell Headshot - P 2013
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Hulu's acting CEO Andy Forssell

Speaking at Sun Valley, the media mogul said operators should invest in the online video site together.

John Malone is not just in favor of satellite consolidation, he also wants cable companies to make a joint bid to buy Hulu.

Time Warner Cable is one of the three remaining bidders for Hulu, offering to make an equity investment in the online video site, but Malone thinks the cable giant shouldn't be the sole owner.

"Time Warner on their own, if they were the sole owner of Hulu and if that was the end of it, it wouldn't make a lot of sense," he said in an interview, according to Reuters. "But if the cable industry were, for instance, to invest in Hulu together in the U.S. or even globally, that would make sense because now you're starting to talk about scale that allows you to do things that you can't do if you're geographically limited."

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Joint ownership would allow for a national service, instead of it being controlled by just one cable company.

Hulu is currently owned by Disney, 21st Century Fox and Comcast, the latter of which is restricted from making business decisions related to the online video site as part of an agreement when it acquired NBCUniversal.

Hulu's other two bidders are satellite company DirecTV and Peter Chernin's Chernin Group, in cooperation with AT&T.

It was reported earlier this week that Hulu's current owners are looking to finalize a deal within the next two weeks.

Malone's Liberty Media owns a 28 percent stake in Charter Communications, the fourth-largest cable operator in the U.S. He did not specify whether he wanted Charter to make a bid for Hulu.