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DirecTV, After Failed Hulu Bid, Seeks Another Internet TV Play

Topper Michael White ‘disappointed’ satcaster didn’t get Hulu, says DirecTV exploring other subscription VOD plans

DirecTV made “an aggressive and attractive” for Hulu, but now that the online video site has been pulled off the table the satcaster is pursuing alternate plans for Internet-streaming subscription services, chief Michael White said.

Satcaster is eager to advance an over-the-top video strategy to complement its core pay TV biz, which is in danger of flatlining or receding. DirecTV posted its second-ever quarterly loss of U.S. subscribers in the most recent period, dropping 84,000 net subs in the States.

“No question, we were very interested in (Hulu), and we’re certainly disappointed in the decision that was made to pull it off the market,” White said on DirecTV’s Q2 earnings call Thursday.

SEE ALSO: Hulu Sale Called Off

Hulu’s owners, 21st Century Fox, NBCUniversal and The Walt Disney Co., solicited bids for Hulu earlier this year, the second time they tried to sell the joint venture after putting it on the block 2011. Latest auction attracted offers from DirecTV, Guggenheim Digital with private-equity firm KKR, Chernin Group with AT&T, Yahoo, Amazon, Time Warner Cable and others.

Media congloms earlier this month said they would maintain their respective ownership positions in Hulu after all, with execs claiming outside interest made them realize the value of the JV. Hulu’s owners also announced they will invest $750 million cash in the company “to propel future growth” and bulk up its subscription VOD service.

At this point, DirecTV is looking at other subscription VOD ideas, according to White, declining to provide details. “Certainly, we continue to believe that there are opportunities for DirecTV in that space, and we’ll continue to be opportunistic in looking at them,” he added.

SEE ALSO: Hulu Plans to Hook Subscription Service Into Google Chromecast

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