Video & Audio|August 18, 2011| Author: Kim LaCapria|Tags: ,

Analysts, Potential Buyers Weigh In On Hulu Auction

As the deadline for initial bids in the Hulu auction draws ever nearer, analysts and potential buyers are weighing in on how the first round of bids might shape up.

DirecTv, initially pegged as one of the possible buyers for Hulu, is most likely out of the running and not expected to submit any bids for the streaming video service. In an earnings call at the start of August, CEO Mike White was less than enthusiastic about Hulu’s earnings prospects and whether adding the service would benefit DirecTv in their current streaming video strategy:

“The Hulu software has some nice aspects to it, but you also  have to kind of form a judgment about its business model and what you think that business model can generate. I think what we’re looking for is: is there something there that would enable us to accelerate our TV Everywhere, but obviously I’d say it’s critically dependent on the distribution relationships that it has in the contracts that underpin that. So, I think there’s still more for us to learn and we really haven’t made a final judgment on it.”

Google, who recently made the very high-profile purchase of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, are also being looked at as potential buyers- but too many acquisitions in a short period could draw the attention of regulators, analysts warn. The Hollywood Reporter consulted with one analyst about the likelihood of Google snapping Hulu up:

“It seems like the odds on Google are higher now that they have shown their hand on the TV market between the Motorola Mobility and [recent] SageTV deals,” said Janney Montgomery Scott analyst Tony Wible. Buying Hulu “would eliminate a potential competitor and add to YouTube’s share for ad supported , while adding content for non-ad supported.”

Among the other companies thought to be considering bidding are Apple, AT&T and Amazon- with varying degrees of bidding likelihood. One of the biggest yet-to-be seen aspects of the sale is what will be included in the purchase, and sale prices being floated are still varying somewhat significantly. Hulu has not commented on the progress of the auction so far.