[credit provider=”SK Telecom” url=”http://www.sktelecom.com/”]
South Korea’s SK Telecom is one of the companies expected to submit a preliminary bid for Hulu this week, two sources involved in the process tell us.SK Telecom is the dominant telecommunications provider in its home market, and it’s been looking to expand oversees for some time now. Mostly, those efforts have flopped. SK sold its money-losing US mobile unit, Helio, to Virgin for $38 million in 2008.
SK has looked at the US video market before. In March, an SK Telecom official told the WSJ that the company was considering a bid for Blockbuster, which went backrupt in 2010.
Reports have suggested that companies interested in Hulu will submit their bids this week. That’s not exactly accurate.
A source involved in the process says Hulu sent out a letter telling companies it has met with so far to send a non-binding expression of interest that includes “a range of what you think you would bid if and when you went to due diligence.”
For most of the companies interested in buying, Hulu’s value depends almost entirely on what kind of content licensing deal it can get with its current parent companies, News Corp, Disney, and Comcast.
In its letter, Hulu said it’s parent companies plan include three years of exclusive streaming-to-the-PC rights, and one year of exclusivity for Hulu’s premium service, Hulu+. It sounds like the letter suggested that was just a starting point, however.
Reports on Hulu’s expected selling price have been all over the place – mostly because of this rights issue. We expect the winning to bid to come in around $2 billion, but who knows.
We’ve reached out to SK Telecom’s PR team and will update this story if we actually hear back.
Update: An SK Telecom PR rep says the company is not bidding for Hulu. Our sources are very good on this – one is close to a rival bidder, the other is close to a Hulu owner – so we’re sticking to our guns. We think SK Telecom is one of the many companies that has taken a look at Hulu and expressed some level of interest in buying it. Anyway, there’s also this.
Related: Who’s going to buy Hulu?