DirecTV Among Three Bidders Offering $1 Billion or More for Hulu (Report)

Andy Forssell Headshot - P 2013
Getty Images

Andy Forssell Headshot - P 2013

The entertainment conglomerate owners of the online video company have been exploring a sale of part or all of Hulu.

Satellite TV giant DirecTV and two other bidders have each offered $1 billion or more for online video joint venture Hulu, Bloomberg News reported, citing sources familiar with the situation.

It wasn't immediately clear who the two other bidders are.

Entertainment conglomerates Walt Disney and News Corp., which along with passive investor Comcast/NBCUniversal own the video site, have been exploring a sale of part or all of Hulu.

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The board of Hulu is believed to have received at least seven offers and plans to narrow those down to a shortlist of three or four bids in a few weeks, according to Bloomberg.

Plans for an initial public offering and a previous auction were both canceled. Two years ago, some potential buyers were hesitant to pay a big price tag amid a lack of assurances that Hulu would retain access to TV shows if Disney, News Corp. and NBCUni exited their ownership stakes.

DirecTV could use Hulu as an online video offering alongside its traditional pay TV service.

A spokesman for DirecTV wasn't immediately available for comment.

Other Hulu bidders are believed to include private equity firm Yahoo, KKR, Time Warner Cable, Guggenheim Digital (owner of The Hollywood Reporter) and former News Corp. president Peter Chernin. Silver Lake Management and Hollywood talent agency William Morris Endeavor have also submitted a bid.

Hulu reported about $695 million in revenue for 2012 -- both from advertising sales and via subscription fees from 4 million users of Hulu Plus, the company's premium service.

Twitter: @georgszalai