AT&T Discusses Entering Into a Joint Bid for Hulu With Chernin Group
According to sources close to the telecommunications giant, AT&T is in discussions with the Chernin Group about mounting a joint bid to acquire the Hulu premium video site.
It makes sense — in addition to its core phone business, AT&T also sells broadband and TV via its U-verse service. And, while well-funded, Chernin certainly could use the extra financial firepower in the multi-player competition to buy Hulu.
Sources close the the owners have speculated recently that they expected more joint efforts in the sale of the unit, which is owned by News Corp., Disney and Comcast.
Already, several major players from various sides have expressed interest in Hulu since its trio of media owners decided to put it back on the block. Among the bidders: Yahoo, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, Guggenheim Partners, as well the Chernin Group.
The investment and media company is run by former News Corp. COO Peter Chernin, who was integral to the founding of Hulu and had intimate knowledge of how it operates. While his initial bid was in the lower $500 million range, sources familiar with the situation said it is likely to be higher as the auction for the site evolves.
Currently, all bids are non-binding, but Hulu is now winnowing them out in order to move to the next and more serious level of sale.
That said, sources also cautioned that it could turn out that no sale happens if the bids do not come in at levels about $1 billion.