* Hulu sale called off for second time
* Disney, Fox, Comcast to invest $750 mln in Hulu
* Owners may bring in new partners -source
By Lisa Richwine and Ronald Grover
LOS ANGELES, July 12 Walt Disney Co,
Twenty-First Century Fox Inc and Comcast Corp's
NBCUniversal said on Friday they decided to keep their
video streaming website, Hulu, and will invest $750 million to
help it grow.
Hulu's owners are still talking to companies that could
become partners for the service, a source with knowledge of the
discussions said. One is Time Warner Cable Inc, which
had offered to make an equity investment in Hulu, two sources
told Reuters. The role of future partners has not been
Time Warner Cable spokesman Justin Venech had no comment.
Disney spokesman Kevin Brockman and Fox spokesman Dan Berger had
no comment beyond the companies' statement.
This is the second time the media companies have decided
against selling Hulu. They had collected bids from parties
including satellite provider DirecTV and former News
Corp president Peter Chernin, sources had previously told
Reuters. DirecTV had offered more than $1 billion for Hulu,
The first time they weighed selling Hulu was in 2011.
Comcast is restricted from making business decisions related
to Hulu as part of its settlement with the U.S. government when
it acquired NBC Universal.
Hulu, launched in 2008, attracts more than 30 million unique
monthly visitors, the companies said. The service has more than
4 million subscribers and generates revenue of about $700
million through subscriptions and a free ad-supported service.
In a statement on Friday, Chase Carey, Fox's president and
chief operating officer, said Hulu's owners "had meaningful
conversations with a number of potential partners and buyers,
each with impressive plans and offers to match."
"But with 21st Century Fox and Disney fully aligned in our
collective vision and goals for the business, we decided to
continue to empower the Hulu team," Carey said.
After mulling the bids, the owners decided to put more money
in to Hulu to expand a business that attracts customers who
watch TV shows and movies increasingly through
Internet-connected televisions and mobile devices. Hulu competes
with services such as Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc's
Prime Instant Video service.
"Hulu has emerged as one of the most consumer friendly,
technologically innovative viewing platforms in the digital
era," Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger said in a statement.
Disney shares closed 0.6 percent higher at $66.98 on the New
York Stock Exchange on Friday. Fox shares gained 0.8 percent to
close at $30.19, and Comcast shares climbed 0.5 percent to
$44.68, both on the Nasdaq.