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Chernin bids $500 million for Hulu

LOS ANGELES, April 6 (UPI) — One of the founders of video website Hulu, Peter Chernin, has offered more than $500 million for the U.S. company, an executive close to the talks said.

Chernin is a former News Corp. president who helped create Hulu five years ago with former NBCUniversal Chief Executive Officer Jeff Zucker.

Hulu is owned by Walt Disney Co., News Corp. and NBCUniversal. Disney and News Corp. have not agreed on which direction to take the company and Zucker and Chernin are no longer in executive positions that could allow them to effect changes, the Los Angeles Times said Saturday.

Enthusiasm for Hulu’s prospects at both News Corp. and NBCUniversal are on the wane, the newspaper said.

The management troubles might have been solved had Disney or News Corp. gone ahead and bought the company outright, but those plans have been shelved. In the meantime, NBCUniversal lost its voice over the company’s affairs as part of an antitrust settlement agreed to by parent company Comcast Corp. in 2011.

One telling detail is the valuation of the firm at $500 million. It was valued at more than $2 billion just two years ago, the newspaper said.

But much of its value is derived from exclusive rights to various content or exclusive time periods in which it can offer videos before anyone else. None of the companies that own Hulu have extended exclusive rights to television shows that made the website so valuable in the past.

Chernin’s spokesman declined to comment on the latest developments. Chernin could not be reached by press time, the Times said.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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