Negotiations between Hulu and the networks that supply its content are in the late stage and it seems like the online platform will keep all its original patterns – Fox, ABC and NBC. But it may lose some of the rights it had to play shows online before anyone else.
When Hulu began back in 2007, reports Peter Kafka, it was mostly an effort by the old school TV giants to build a competitor to Youtube, which dominated the online video space.
Today the most frightening disruptor is Netflix, which recently passed Comcast in size, and has begun to use its bulk to outbid Hollywood for original content.
Licensing shows to cable, satellite and even Netflix is more difficult, a less profitable, when those programs appear for free on Hulu. Kafka quotes Dinsey CEO Bob Iger from this week’s earning call, “We don’t intend to let a platform—even one we own—get in the way of doing what we think is right.”
In the meantime, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar has been calling out his parents companies, penning a provocative blog post back in February that argued against kneecapping Hulu by shopping its content around. With his ad business growing, and a subscription model showing promise, Kilar wants to be given the opportunity to build a new model.
But as Iger’s comment’s show, the networks are equally interested in protecting the bottom line as innovating a way to a better business.