Hulu is owned by Walt Disney Co., News Corp. and Comcast Corp. -- which, due to a regulatory agreement, has investor-only status and does not have voting rights.
The Journal said Saturday Disney and News Corp. do not agree on the direction Hulu should take.
The service has 4 million paid streaming subscribers, compared to Netflix, which has 28 million, the Journal said.
DirecTV's motivation could be to expand its "TV Everywhere" services, the report said. That service allows TV service subscribers to download content from the Internet, an option executives say is underutilized.
On the other hand, the growth of television service subscribers has been slowing, giving television service firms a reason to look around for complimentary acquisitions, the Journal said.