We’ve know for a little while that Hulu had some suitors, with Microsoft and Yahoo named among the early aspirants.
Today news broke that Google is also interested, and web TV insiders say Hulu would be a great fit for the search giant.
“It’s funny because that was my first guess,” said one source. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Google emerges in the next few years as the biggest competitor to Time Warner and Comcast.”
Google’s problem up till now has been getting into bed with the big TV networks. They tried to negotiate deals when they launched Google TV, but had little luck. “What they have been struggling with is how to look, act and smell like a media company,” the source said.
The Hulu acquistion would be a sort of Trojan horse to lock down the content deals that have to this point proved elusive. As Peter Kafka reported, Hulu recently resigned contracts for exclusive rights to big name series from Fox, Disney and NBC.
The most pressing question is whether these players are open to Google at any price. It seems unlikely, given their earlier antagonism to the Google TV project. But perhaps they feel confident they can prevent piracy and extract a high price from Google, not just for the initial bid, but for licensing fees in years to come.