Hulu is not for sale after all. News Corporation, Providence Equity Partners, and The Walt Disney Company, the owners of the service, announced plans to sell the platform in late June, but earlier this evening the companies released a joint statement indicating that they’d decided not to.
"Since Hulu holds a unique and compelling strategic value to each of its owners, we have terminated the sale process and look forward to working together to continue mapping out its path to even greater success,” the three companies said. “Our focus now rests solely on ensuring that our efforts as owners contribute in a meaningful way to the exciting future that lies ahead for Hulu."
The decision to back out of a sale comes amidst wild speculation about who would be bidding for the video site, and what they might be getting for their money. Since Hulu’s owners announced their original intentions to sell, they’ve reportedly been weighing offers from a variety of outlets in the digital and linear TV worlds, including Amazon, Yahoo, Google, and Dish Network.
At the same time, some of the broadcast networks owned by Hulu’s backers had been experimenting with other ways of distributing their television content online—as Fox did when it made the decision in July to put its freshest programming behind a pay-wall, where only certain cable subscribers can access new Fox television content for eight days after it first airs on TV.
Indications had been growing in recent months that Hulu’s backers may make this move. In August, News Corp. president, COO and deputy chairman Chase Carey told analysts and reporters on the company’s earnings call, “Does it make sense to pursue that path or does it make sense for us to stay in an ownership position and continue to have it driven by content owners?”