TV broadcast networks would always like to turn back the hands of time. Which of them invested big time in a major TV video distributor like DirecTV or Dish when back when? Or perhaps a small unknown cable network that grew to epic and valuable proportions?
Hulu was just such an opportunity that two networks, initially, didn't want to miss -- pushed by Jeff Zuckert, hen of NBCUniversal and Peter Chernin, then of News Corp.
But owning a TV distributor company take more than meets the eye. Talk to executives at Comcast (now the owners of NBCUniversal) or Time Warner (recently letting Time Warner Cable out on its own).
With all the problems some TV distributors have with content owners -- just look at the rise of threatening TV blackouts and angry TV customers -- who wouldn't want a little better control?
Once again the owners of Hulu, the premium video digital site, are considering a sale. Why? It would seem that the two managing partners, Disney and News Corp., want to stick to what they do best.
This is not to say that Disney, Comcast, and News Corp. couldn't keep some low-level, non-voting minority interest in the still-growing digital site.
But big companies can be driven by quarterly earning reports, with investors wary of businesses that don't meet a specific aggressive growth curve. It hasn't been a sure thing that Hulu (or Hulu Plus) could provide major content providers with big traditional-TV like revenues anytime soon.
An independent Hulu could also diversify into perhaps other video content arenas that the major TV networks/providers are too leery to pursue.
Separately, maybe as a public company, Hulu could then be judged on its merits -- as well as letting it stumble and/or flourish via its own devices.