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Hulu Suitors Down to Final Four

Short list of bidders comprises DirecTV, AT&T and Chernin Group, Guggenheim and KKR, Time Warner Cable, according to reports

The final bids are in for Hulu, with the Internet TV site’s owners now sitting down to sort through four offers — from DirecTV, AT&T and Chernin Group, Guggenheim and KKR, and Time Warner Cable — according to industry sources and published reports.

Hulu’s triumvirate of owners, Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox and Comcast, have received proposals from DirecTV, AT&T and Chernin Group, and Guggenheim Digital Partners in conjunction with private-equity firm KKR, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. The value of the bids is unknown.

The Hulu owners are expected to make a decision on the sale within the next two weeks, sources said.

Time Warner Cable is still in the bidding, according to a source close to the negotiations. But the cable operator is seeking to buy a stake in Hulu instead of purchasing the whole entity, an outcome that’s unlikely, given Disney and  21st Century Fox’s desire to extricate themselves from the venture.

SEE ALSO: In Hulu’s Future, There Will Be Less Broadcast TV

DirecTV is seen as the leader of the pack, according to multiple industry sources. The satcaster at least in part would use Hulu to extend or reinforce its pay-TV business, as a standalone “virtual cable TV” subscription service or as a way to deliver programming to DirecTV subscribers over the Internet (or both).

Those previously in the hunt for Hulu were Amazon.com, Yahoo and a tag team of WME  and Silver Lake. Originally the final binding bids were due June 28, but the deadline was extended to July 5.

(Rachel Abrams contributed to this report.)

SEE ALSO: Hulu’s Executive Exodus Accelerates

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