Chernin Makes $500M Bid For Hulu: Reports

Former News Corp. Exec Among Bidders For Online Video Pioneer
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Former News Corp., chief Peter Chernin could be gearing up to do the Hulu.

Chernin, who formed his own production company in 2009 after stepping down as chief operating officer of News Corp., is a said to be among the bidders for Hulu, the online video service he helped found in 2007.

According to a report in Reuters Friday night citing unnamed sources, Chernin made a $500 million bid for Hulu last month. It was not revealed how much of a stake the former News Corp. exec was seeking in the online video giant.

Chernin formed the Chernin Group in 2009 and has invested in online music service Pandora and serves on the board of Twitter. 

The price was considerably below the estimated $2 billion that Hulu was seeking in 2011 when its owners – News Corp., the Walt Disney Co., and Providence Equity Partners – were seeking to sell the company. They pulled Hulu off the market in October of that year when bids came in below their targets.

Providence Equity sold its 10% interest back to Hulu for about $200 million last year.

Comcast has a controlling stake in Hulu but gave up its voting rights as one of the conditions of government approval of its majority ownership of NBC Universal.

Hulu has been going through changes in the past several months – CEO Jason Kilar stepped down in March and the partners have been at odds concerning the future direction of the company.

Hulu offers free full-length shows, movies and video clips of television shows from 410 sources including broadcast networks ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS as well as select cable shows from networks like Nicelodeon and Comedy Central.  In 2010 launched a subscription service with access to more recent programming called Hulu Plus. Hulu Plus had about 3 million subscribers paying $8 per month for the privilege at the end of 2012. Revenue for the service was about $695 million.