Will Dish Do the Hulu?
Washington, D.C. (September 28,
2011) -- Dish Network and Google
appear to be in the lead in the auction to buy program streamer
Hulu, according to multiple news sources. While Google's
motivations are somewhat fuzzy, Dish could use Hulu's
programming library to dramatically beef up its new streaming
plan under the Blockbuster brand.
In fact, speculation is rampant that the Hulu situation is why
Dish decided last week not to unveil a separate streaming plan
to compete directly with Netflix; the company wantt to see the
results of the Hulu auction before going that route. (The new
streaming plan under Blockbuster's name, which officially
launches October 1, will initially require a subscription to
Hulu, which now has more than one million paying customers,
boasts content from more than 260 programmers including NBC, Fox
and ABC. Dish said last week the new Blockbuster streaming plan
would include 3,000 TV shows, which is fewer than Netflix, But
the addition of Hulu would put Blockbuster's streaming service
on par with Netflix.
Despite those rosy scenario, Dish, however, must first buy Hulu
in the auction and news reports are sketchy on that possibility
despite Dish bidding a reported $1.9 billion. Dish was actually
outbid by Google, according to reports, but Dish's offer
reportedly carries fewer restrictions which could persuade
Hulu's owners to pick the satcaster. (Earlier bidders such as
DIRECTV and Amazon are thought to now be out of the running.
But there are other reports suggesting that Hulu's ownership
group, which consists of NBC Universal, Walt Disney and News
Corp., is not pleased with the bids and may not sell at all. And
Dish itself may be put off that some Hulu program contracts will
expire in just a few years, which could require Dish, or another
owner, to pay handsomely to renew the deals.
So, bottom line: If Dish buys Hulu, it could dramatically change
the streaming business. If another company buys Hulu, the
business could still take an interesting turn, depending upon
what Hulu's new owners have in mind.
The Holidays Are Coming!!
Phillip Swann is president and publisher
of TVPredictions.com. He has been quoted in dozens of publications
and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The
New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The
Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
or at 703-505-3064.
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