Hulu has a complex ownership structure, with investors that include News Corp., Walt Disney Co. and NBCUniversal.
The Times said word of Yahoo!'s unsolicited offer was confirmed by a person close to the company, but noted it remained unclear whether the offer had come directly from the Internet firm or another entity.
Talk of the sale comes as the market for distributing TV content online grows increasingly competitive.
The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the offer, said it had led Hulu's board to consider its options -- namely to sell or not to sell -- and to seek other investors who might be interested.
Hulu, which counts nearly 300 employees, primarily offers ad-supported full-length television shows and movies for free.
It has also launched subscription service Hulu Plus offering full seasons of some TV shows instead of just certain episodes.
Hulu can currently only be viewed by Internet users in the United States but plans to eventually expand worldwide.
It is said to have abandoned plans to go public in December.