By Ronald Grover
LOS ANGELES, July 24 The owners of video
streaming site Hulu called off talks with Time Warner Cable Inc
over the cable operator's plan to take a 25 percent
stake after failing to agree on a price, according to two people
with knowledge of the negotiations.
Hulu's owners - Walt Disney Co, 21st Century Fox
and NBC owner Comcast Corp - began talks with
Time Warner Cable in early July when they failed to attract
satisfactory bids in an auction of the service.
The talks may resume, but none are planned for now,
according to one source, who spoke on condition of anonymity
because the discussions were private.
Hulu and Fox declined to comment. Time Warner Cable and
Disney did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
The reported end of the latest round of discussions marks
another blow for Hulu and its media conglomerate owners, which
last shopped the five-year-old video service unsuccessfully in
This time around, satellite service DirecTV and
former News Corp president Peter Chernin, bidding with
telecoms carrier AT&T Inc, each unsuccessfully bid more
than $1 billion.
On July 12, the owners said they would end the auction and
instead commit $750 million in new capital to the venture, which
has more than four million paying subscribers for its TV shows
as well as a free, ad-supported website.
As part of the auction, Time Warner Cable offered to buy a
25-percent stake in Hulu, according to multiple sources.
Comcast had been restricted from making business decisions
on Hulu, as a condition of gaining federal approval to acquire
NBC Universal in 2011.