DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) has reportedly made a bid for Hulu and is in the advanced stages of striking a $1 billion plus deal. A bid for Hulu is DirecTV’s attempt to reach a broader audience and become more competitive with DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH). This move to add Internet-based broadcasting would help move DirecTV in the right direction as the popularity of online TV and movies are on the rise.
The current DirecTV business model
DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) has grown their business around the concept of creating an amazing in-home theater experience. Unlike their competitor, DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH), DirecTV has refused to enter the wireless business and has decided to stick with a video-only strategy. Some analysts have viewed this as a potential vulnerability for the company, because their competitors will have more variety and products in their packaging to offer consumers.
DirecTV has focused their efforts on creating exclusive programming for its members, such as the NFL Sunday ticket. These programs have enabled the company to get better terms from other networks, which has allowed them to offer a large selection of different programming options. The allure of DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV)’s exclusive offers has kept them in the game so far with the paid TV audience.
Problems down the road for paid TV providers
The future growth of the paid TV industry is in question because about 90% of U.S. households currently use a paid TV service. This is why DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) and the DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) are looking for other avenues to expand their customer base.
Both companies realized that consumers want to view video content over the Internet and on their mobile devices. This is why DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) has spent so much effort on teaming up with wireless carriers to help broadcast their programming to users of these devices. DirecTV has refused to enter the wireless market, but their recent bid for Hulu shows they are looking to the web for future growth.
Hulu for the win!
DirecTV realizes the importance of enabling users to watch programming via their mobile devices. This is why the acquisition of Hulu would be a big win for DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV). Hulu would allow DirecTV to access a whole new audience of web savvy users who consume their video content via their computers and mobile devices. A Hulu acquisition would expand DirecTV’s market share and pave a clear direction for the future growth of the company.
At the end of 2012, Hulu reported that the company had acquired over 3 million Hulu Plus subscribers. Hulu Plus is a paid video streaming service, which has double its subscriber base over the past year. Capturing the amazing growth in Hulu’s video streaming service could be a big win for DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) and lock in their future growth potential.
Other Hulu bids
Earlier in the year, unnamed sources told Bloomberg that Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)! reportedly bid between $600 and $800 million to acquire Hulu. Acquisition of the video streaming website, Hulu, would have enabled Yahoo! to compete with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)‘s massive video streaming network YouTube. The deal would have been a major win for Yahoo! following a major blow in which the French government reportedly threatened their attempt to own a majority stake in the video streaming site Dailymotion.