Hulu has put itself up for sale, moving to end the grand alliance between the broadcasters who own the TV website and provide it with shows. This is really going to suck.
Hulu's owners NBC, Disney and News Corp. have hired bankers to unload the site, potentially on an internet company like Yahoo!, according to the Los Angeles Times. While it's nice that Hulu might be able to tap into some internet bubble money, the move also signals that the site's owners can't reach an agreement on how Hulu should distribute and price their shows.
Lord knows they've been trying; Hulu has been negotiating for renewal of its content licenses and attempting to raise additional money since January, according to some embarrassing news reports earlier this year. News Corp., which owns Fox, has been pushing for higher fees on Hulu Plus and for fewer shows on the free version, while Disney wants to maybe delay new episodes from Hulu for two weeks. Basically, despite Hulu's popularity and growing base of paying subscribers, and despite the fact that its owners have mostly failed in their other digital endeavors , its network owners can't agree on how to keep it running or to preserve the content that has made it so beloved.
So while their might be a bright independent future for Hulu, there are almost certainly going to be some speed bumps — and dropped shows, nooooo — along the way.
[Image via Hulu]