Talking tech since 2003

Earlier this month, it was widely reported that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer had been meeting with executives at streaming video site Hulu. AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher, who has very good sources at Yahoo, is now reporting that Yahoo has entered a $600 million to $800 million bid for Hulu, just days after acquiring both Tumblr and PlayerScale.

There’s a void in video at Yahoo, as many opportunities have passed the company by. Google famously beat Yahoo at the buzzer to lock up YouTube and, ever since, nothing at Yahoo has quite stuck. Hulu would instantly give Yahoo a hot video property with built-in reasons for users to visit — those reasons, of course, being streaming TV shows and movies.

Most of the negotiation for Hulu has to do with the site's content, which is currently provided by the sites owners: Comcast, News Corp and Disney.
Most of the negotiation for Hulu has to do with the site’s content, which is currently provided by the site’s owners: Comcast, News Corp and Disney.

While the licenses for the content on Hulu would likely expire in a couple of years, it still gives Yahoo a head start as it works to secure new content deals, or even turn Hulu into an all-around video sharing/video destination site, similar to YouTube. And thanks to Yahoo’s deal to lock up exclusive streaming rights to Saturday Night Live’s back catalog, a Yahoo-owned Hulu would have a lot to offer at the start.

There is still some negotiating to be done before any deal is set in stone, and keep in mind that other bidders are gunning for Hulu, as well. A few of those companies include Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and the Chernin Group, as well as firms like Guggenheim Digital, KKR and Silver Lake Partners. Yahoo isn’t the only player on the field, but I think it’s willing to sacrifice the most to win.

We’ll keep a close eye on the news surrounding Hulu and let you know if Yahoo or any other potential buyers get close to making an acquisition. In the meantime, give us your take — do you think a purchase by Yahoo would make Hulu better or worse?

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