The eventual value of Hulu (which would consist of the brand, its available interface and the rights to numerous of the television shows it provides) is anticipated to be roughly $1 billion. Binding bids are due by Friday, although one person informed about the process stated the deadline might be delayed until the following month.

Web sites alter hands all the time, but Hulu’s sale could sign something more fundamental: the end a minimum of in its current form of one of the leaders of online streaming, which recently has become an more and more popular method to view content.

Hulu has a free Web site, with streams of TV episodes based on ads, and a subscriber-only section, known as Hulu Plus,which provides additional episodes at a cost. In 2012, Hulu had $695 million in revenue and the Hulu Plus program had four million paying customers, based on the company.

Time Warner Cable, for example, would want to use Hulu to create an industrywide TV Everywhere hub in which customers could have a chance to access network and cable shows on-demand. A distributor just like DirecTV might use Hulu both its brand name and its technology to sell a new program that streams a bundle of television stations to subscribers on the internet. Intel is trying to make a similar type of service; if it is successful, then traditional distributors may go through the need to sell something similar.

For satellite or cable distributors, Hulu is additionally a prize for an existential reason: as an exec at one supplier put it.It’ll make us seem like we’re ready for future years.??

Right now, AT&T is in talks to sign up for the Chernin Group in a bid for Hulu, a pairing that might give Mr. Chernin’s media, technology and entertainment investment group the economic heft to increase against main corporations.

A former Hulu executive who requested not to be recognized discussing a former employer recommended that an independent owner just like Mr. Chernin or Guggenheim, the personal equity firm, might be more suitable for Disney and News Corporation because the owners want more places to offer their shows a marketplace for content.If Hulu were managed by a distributor, content owners may have less leverage.

Hulu, mainly a TV service, was started in 2007 by NBC and News Corporation, and has performed a big part in popularizing online television by making a location for video and making it simple for anyone to use.

Right now most widely known for carrying shows from Fox, ABC and NBC, Hulu has recently also become noted for TV series it commissions for itself, the same method Netflix has with House of Cards and Arrested Development. Hulu has been purchasing original shows for more than 2 yrs, though to date, none have come near to the budgets of these Netflix shows.

Disney and News Corporation both depend greatly on retransmission fees paid for by ABC and Fox, and may opt to sell Hulu to DirecTV or Time Warner Cable to protect its broader business partnerships, stated one person familiar with the discussions.