DirecTV Said Among Three Hulu Bidders at $1 Billion or More

Increase the Odds That Auction Will Succeed Where Prior Attempt Failed

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DirecTV, the second-biggest U.S. pay-TV service, and two other bidders are each offering at least $1 billion for Hulu, the online video website, people with knowledge of the bid said.

The other two couldn't be identified immediately. Hulu's board has been weighing at least seven buyout offers and plans to narrow those to three or four in a few weeks, said the people, who requested anonymity because the deliberations are private.

Bids of at least $1 billion increase the odds that owners Walt Disney Co., News Corp. and Comcast's NBC Universal will sell Hulu after a previous auction and plans for an initial public offering faltered. Hulu would give DirecTV, with 20 million subscribers, a lower-cost online video offering alongside its more expensive pay-TV packages.

Darris Gringeri, a spokesman for DirecTV, declined to comment, as did Meredith Kendall, a spokeswoman for Hulu.

~ Bloomberg News ~

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