The future of streaming video service Hulu has been decidedly hazy lately, and now Reuters is reporting that the former head of News Corp. has entered a bid to purchase the company. According to the report Peter Chernin — who currently sits on Hulu's board — offered $500 million. In March several reports indicated that Disney and News Corp. had been holding discussion on what to do with the company, with both parties contemplating buying the other out — or selling Hulu altogether to a third party. Comcast serves as the third partner behind Hulu, but due to regulatory restrictions associated with its acquisition of NBCUniversal it's not allowed to participate in such decisions.
It's important to note that Reuters doesn't state that the deal is done, but the move would make sense. As Reuters points out, The Chernin Group has holdings in several high-profile technology companies, including Pandora. As president of News Corp. at the time Hulu was founded, Chernin was also an outspoken advocate for the venture, calling it a "game changer for internet video."
Disney and News Corp. have reportedly been disagreeing on what direction to take the service, with Disney said to be fond of an ad-supported model while News Corp. favors a subscription service. In January CEO Jason Kilar announced he would be leaving the company, but despite the uncertainty the company actually reported a strong 2012, with revenue growing 65 percent.
Update: Peter Kafka at AllThingsD has some additional information, reporting that the $500 million bid is for the company and a limited set of programming rights; that number could conceivably scale upwards with a more inclusive set of rights.