Remember Yahoo? You know, that search/entertainment/news portal Microsoft was so hot to buy, what -- 10 years ago was it? Yeah, them. They're back in the news again. No, it's not another massive companywide reorg. The Yahoos are apparently in the market for video streaming sites (again), and they have their eyes on Hulu.
According to anonymous sources "with knowledge of the matter," Yahoo just made an unsolicited offer to buy Hulu, per the Los Angeles Times.
[ Also on InfoWorld.com: The on-demand video business doesn't look so hot right now, as Cringely reports in "Stream a YouTube video, go directly to jail." | Stay up to date on all Robert X. Cringely's observations with InfoWorld's Notes from the Underground newsletter and follow Cringely on Twitter. ]
Or maybe not. If you believe TechCrunch's Michael Arrington (and who, with the possible exception of his mother, would?) the Yahoo's-buying-Hulu story is "BS." Arrrington claims to have heard from his own imaginary friends at Yahoo that this story is "completely untrue." (In the same post, he also says, "for all I know it's completely true." Thanks for clarifying that for us, Mikey.)
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal says it doesn't know who's buying Hulu, but the video site with 27 million subscribers is definitely for sale. Want to know what else the Journal has to say about the matter? Sorry, you'll have to pay for a subscription. But please don't. (I have a rule: Friends don't let friends give money to Murdoch.)
My money's on Yahoo. Because lately Hulu has really begun to suck. And if there's any Silicon Valley company that knows how to sniff out companies that have begun to suck and hold a pillow over their faces until they pass from this earth, it's Yahoo.
I admit that at first I was deeply skeptical about Hulu when it debuted in October 2007, then pleasantly surprised at how good it was. Also, those Super Bowl commercials with Alec Baldwin [video]? Priceless.