Time Warner Cable is reportedly considering buying a stake in online video platform Hulu, it was learned Wednesday.
Hulu is co-owned by some of the biggest names in the Los Angeles entertainment industry, including News Corp., Walt Disney and Comcast/NBC Universal.
Other companies are rumored to be looking into the prospect of buying into Hulu as well, including Yahoo, Amazon and several investment and private equity firms. What is interesting about these reported suitors is that they are not traditional entertainment companies, the way Disney and NBC are. That businesses are considering investing in Hulu even though it is outside their traditional area of focus suggests that Hulu represents an attractive investment opportunity.
As we have mentioned in previous posts, Hulu represents a seismic shift in the television landscape. Viewers are no longer comfortable being confined to network's schedules. They prefer to watch what they want when they want, and they often seek to avoid commercials altogether thanks to thinks like DVRs. This has forced television networks to scramble as they try to adapt to a vastly changed landscape.
If Time Warner is indeed interested in a stake in Hulu, the negotiations involved will likely be complex. There may also be antitrust considerations as well, since Time Warner and Comcast/NBC Universal are significant players in the same industry.
Our Los Angeles office specializes in entertainment law, so we have been watching Hulu's growth with great interest. We will continue to stay abreast of its development and will write an update post if there are any noteworthy developments.
Source: Fox Business, "AT&T Said to be Interested in Hulu as Bids Approach $1B," Matthew Roco, June 6, 2013