KKR, AT&T, DirecTV Race For Hulu

  • Three bids are above $1 billion
  • Deal could come quickly
  • Effort to sell service failed in 2011

Streaming video site Hulu has attracted three bids of more than $1 billion from suitors including a partnership of AT&T Inc and Chernin Group, sister news service Reuters reported, citing the Wall Street Journal.

The three highest bidders also include DirecTV and Guggenheim Digital Media which is jointly bidding with private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter. The deal could be sealed in a week or two after the deadline for bids, it added.

Hulu, which was established in 2007, says on its website that it has more than 3 million subscribers paying $7.99 a month for its premium service, and that it generated revenue of about $700 million last year. It sells advertising for its free service.

AT&T could benefit from Hulu’s mobile video and streaming video services, the financial daily said, citing analysts.

The proposed price tag in excess of $1 billion increases the likelihood of a sale after the owners, News Corp and Walt Disney Co, failed to sell the company in 2011. Hulu was put on the auction block this year for the second time after the owners disagreed about how best to operate a Web service that streams TV programs and other videos, Reuters previously reported.

Avik Das is a correspondent for Reuters in Bangalore.