Apple Inc. could be making an unusual bid for the networks'-owned video service Hulu.
Bloomberg News is reporting that Apple is considering a move for the popular premium video site, which estimates say could carry a $2 billion price tag. Typically, Apple doesn't make large acquisitions of important consumer products; rather, it grows big-brand consumer product and services businesses internally.
Hulu is a growing site looking to compete with Netflix. But not all the Hulu owners -- Comcast Corp., News Corp., Walt Disney and Providence Equity Partners -- have been happy about its direction, looking for more revenue gains. Reports suggest Yahoo has already shown interest in Hulu.
As part of the deal, reports say the purchase of Hulu includes five years of access to TV shows from its media-company owners, including two years of exclusivity.
Hulu would seem to work well with existing Apple products, of which it already has a connection: iPhone, iPad and iTouch. It could also click with Apple's iTunes media store, which offers TV shows and movies for rental or purchase. Current-season TV shows can be rented for 99 cents and high-definition films rent for $4.99.
Those iTunes TV offerings are commercial-free. Hulu, for the most part, carries commercials in a limited number of current TV shows. The digital service Hulu Plus, a $7.99/month service, offers a broader library of programming.