Despite the cancellation of an auction by Hulu’s owners to sell of the business on Friday, Time Warner Cable is reportedly still in pursuit of the over-the-top video company.
Bloomberg, citing three unnamed sources, reported that Time Warner Cable and Hulu’s owners (Walt Disney, Comcast and 21st Century Fox) could reach a deal over the next two weeks to buy a stake in the streaming service company.
Time Warner Cable, the nation’s second-largest cable operator, was previously reported to be pursuing a 25 percent stake in Hulu prior to the auction being called off on Friday.
Instead of selling Hulu to the highest bidder, the parent companies of ABC, NBC and Fox said Friday that they would provide a cash infusion of about $750 million to ensure future growth of the streaming video company. Yahoo and DirecTV were also rumored to be in hot pursuit of Hulu.
Comcast owns its stakes in Hulu via its purchase of NBCUniversal. Comcast, the nation’s top cable operator and ISP, isn’t allowed to have a direct say in Hulu’s business and operations due to regulatory conditions that were attached to its NBCUniversal deal. From Comcast’s point of view, Time Warner Cable having a stake in Hulu is preferable to DirecTV.
For its part, Time Warner Cable could use the Hulu portal to serve up its TV Everywhere services across the nation instead of just within its cable footprint.