Maybe DIRECTV wants to buy Hulu. MAYBE? You deserve better

First of all I want to thank the many, many people who tipped me on this story. It’s a testament to our loyal readers that you keep this blog in your minds, even on a weekend.

Here’s the story of the day: Several outlets, including The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters, and even Mashable have run articles saying that DIRECTV may be interested in buying online streamer hulu.

It may well be true. DIRECTV would be well advised to at least consider acquiring Hulu’s wealth of online video to complement its DIRECTV Everywhere streaming service. What you need to know here is that if it is true, it would be a huge swing away from previous policies that have had DIRECTV developing its own software and hardware for years. These other sites may have bigger staffs, but they don’t follow DIRECTV day in and day out and they don’t know the corporate culture.

The whole thing may have started on Friday with the following line from The Wall Street Journal::

[quote]DirecTV is weighing a potential bid for Hulu, the latest company to show interest in the six-year-old video site, according to a person familiar with the matter.[/quote]

That’s not journalism. Journalism is gathering facts, getting figures, getting people to go on the record. This is nothing more than rumormongering and the problem with the internet is that the more people who pick up on the rumor, the more credibility it gets.

Let me say again. Someone at the WSJ heard from someone that DIRECTV “might” be interested. That’s the whole story. THR goes on to say that no one is returning their phone calls, which frankly is not news either. If I wrote a story every time no one returned my calls, I’d be extraordinarily busy.

It’s surprising that no one is accusing DISH of being involved, especially considering that they plan to offer $2.6 billion in senior notes in a few weeks.

As I said, it’s quite possible that DIRECTV is at least considering the purchase of hulu. It’s also likely that Time Warner is, that Comcast is, and that 100 other companies are. We can hypothesize about what a joint DIRECTV/hulu venture would be, how it would possibly open the door to streaming-only subscriptions, but you have to know that it’s all just a pipe dream until someone comes out and says it’s happening.

You deserve better than half-rumors disguised as journalism, especially when it comes from respected names. Forgive me and my fellow bloggers for our flights of fancy if you will… or even better hold us up to the same standards as you should be holding “old media” up to.

If DIRECTV actually makes an offer for hulu, as I said, it would fly in the face of almost a decade of “build-it-ourselves” strategy that has had DIRECTV pouring millions upon millions into large On Demand facilities and servers, not to mention developing its own software and processes. There may be some financial sense to it, but it’s going to be a tough sell for those who have been toiling within DIRECTV to build a world-class streaming system in DIRECTV Everywhere.

Open up your eyes, folks. Demand better journalism. We intend to give it to you, why can’t the other guys?

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.