Once again the future of Hulu is uncertain as Disney and News Corp. both look to the future and want to take different paths.
While Hulu ended 2012 on a high note when it comes to subscribers and revenue, it seems that two of the three companies with a stake in the venture are at odds. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Walt Disney Company and News Corp. – each of which own around one third of the streaming media service – have been in talks about the future of Hulu. Neither can seem to agree on which path to take, and both have expressed in buying the other party out.
News Corp. appears to be enamored with the Hulu Plus strategy which sees users paying $7.99 a month to watch its Fox TV programs, while Disney – which owns the ABC programming on Hulu – is a bigger fan of the free ad-supported model.
According to the sources that spoke with the Journal, the talks are very fluid, and nothing is set in stone as of yet. Apparently the two companies believe so much in their sides of the argument that both have offered to buy the other one out.
Comcast, which owns NBC, owns the other third of Hulu, but it is not allowed to vote in this matter due to some regulatory issues.
There is no indication of there being any form of deadline for these talks to come to an end, nor which company has its heels dug in further. Should one of them buy out the other, the biggest question would be if it would take its content with it, leaving Hulu with a hole in its offerings to users.