Malone says cable companies should unite for Hulu bid

John Malone

John Malone

US MSOs should join forces to make a bid for Hulu, according to Liberty Media boss John Malone.

The influential media executive was speaking to Reuters at the fringes of Allen & Co’s Sun Valley conference and said that all US MSOs would benefit from owning an online streaming and catch-up service.

Hulu is currently owned by News Corp, Disney and Comcast, which are attempting to sell it with the price tag expected to be about US$1 billion (€765 million).

Numerous media companies including Yahoo!, AT&T and Time Warner Cable, have been linked to moves for Hulu, with US pay TV operator DirecTV often cited as the favourite to seal a deal.

Malone’s Liberty owns a stake in US cabler Charter.

He told Reuters: “On their own, if they were the sole owner of Hulu and if that was the end of it, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense. But if the cable industry were, for instance, to invest in Hulu together in the US or even globally, that would make sense because now you’re starting to talk about scale that allows you to do things that you can’t do if you’re geographically limited.”

This week, former Disney chairman Michael Eisner claimed the Hulu’s next owner was almost certain to lose the prized next-day broadcast rights to content from its current parents.