Hulu owners change the channel on sales talk

Put away your checkbooks, because Hulu is once again off the market. The video-streaming service’s trio of corporate owners announced on Friday that they’ve decided not to part with the venture quite yet.

In a joint release, Fox, NBC, and Disney said that they will all hold on to their ownership stakes in the company (they each own roughly a third, with Fox holding slightly more than its partners) and, just in case not selling the site isn’t enough, they’ll also be digging into their own pockets to come up with a total of $750 million “to propel future growth.”

This isn’t the first time Hulu’s been saved from the chopping block. In October of 2011, the company’s owners announced that they had decided to terminate their then first attempt at a sale, reportedly because none of the bids seemed that attractive. This time around, rumor had it that seven companies, including the likes of Time Warner, DirecTV, Yahoo, and the Chernin Group, had tendered offers.

Carry on, Hulu viewers, nothing to see here.

For Hulu users and subscribers, this news should be greeted with, if not rejoicing, then at least relief. Earlier this week, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner said that Hulu’s sale would probably eventually mean the end of its day-after-air episodes. That seems less likely to happen with the current owners still in the picture, though there is an increasing trend towards the authenticated viewer experience, such as HBO Go and Disney subsidiary ABC’s recently released live-streaming feature.

At least for now the battle over cord-cutting continues to rage on. But perhaps the investment of substantial funds in Hulu means that the content providers will finally stop trying so hard to fight the future and instead embrace the inevitable.

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