After Hulu got everyone excited that it was putting itself up for sale, it decided today to rescind that offer. Instead, NBCUniversal, The Walt Disney Co., and 21st Century Fox will maintain ownership of the video streaming site and will infuse a $750 million cash investment to assist its growth.
In a press release issued by the trio of companies, Disney Chairman and CEO Robert Iger said that in addition to pumping more money into the site, maintaining the ownership structure will “enable Hulu to achieve its maximum potential.”
The release added that the prospective buyers, which included Time Warner, AT&T and DirecTV, had “impressive plans and offers to match” but apparently that wasn’t what Hulu’s owners had in mind.
Variety reports that the bids likely came in $1 billion short of Hulu’s $2 billion asking price:
While DirecTV and Chernin with AT&T had been viewed as front-runners, sources close to the Hulu talks had cautioned that 21st Century Fox, NBCU and Disney were just as close to pulling Hulu off the market as completing a sale.
The site launched in 2008 to prevent pirating of television shows and has become a platform for entertainment companies to monetize streaming content online. Now if they can reinstate full episodes of Happy Endings…