Hulu, the popular online video site, is no longer on the auction block.
Owners 21st Century Fox, NBCUniversal and Walt Disney Co. said Friday they would hold on to Hulu and provide a cash infusion of $750 million in order to propel future growth.
This is the second time Hulu's parents have started a sales process only to later pull the plug. Launched in 2008, Hulu carries episodes of popular TV shows and has both a free and a subscription service.
"Hulu has emerged as one of the most consumer friendly, technologically innovative viewing platforms in the digital era," Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Robert A. Iger said in a statement. "As its evolution continues, Disney and its partners are committing resources to enable Hulu to achieve its maximum potential."
Bidders for the site included traditional pay-TV distributors DirecTV and Time Warner Cable, which envisioned using Hulu to provide video via the Internet to new devices, such as tablets and smartphones. The Chernin Group, led by former News Corp. Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin, who had championed Hulu's creation while at the media conglomerate, envisioned operating the site as a stand-alone service.
Offers had approached $1 billion, according to several people with knowledge of the bidding process who requested anonymity because the process is supposed to be confidential. However, one of the issues was how long the new owners would be able to license content from the current owners.
The media conglomerates touted the benefits of retaining ownership of Hulu.
"We had meaningful conversations with a number of potential partners and buyers, each with impressive plans and offers to match," 21st Century Fox President and Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey said in a statement. "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 ... to continue the incredible momentum they've built over the last few years."
Hulu achieved record revenues of $690 million last year, and its subscription Hulu Plus service has attracted more than 4 million subscribers since its debut in 2010.
Copyright © 2015, RedEye