The ongoing Hulu saga reminds Betabeat of some kind of Greek myth. Created as the bastard scion of the old TV networks, Hulu is a popular and perhaps soon-to-be profitable service. Yet increasingly it is at war with its parents, who have been kneecapping the upstart to preserve their own power.
The new last week that a sale of Hulu is being considered brought focus on an important detail: Without the networks feeding it exclusive content, Hulu is much less appealing to both consumers and potential acquirers. So Peter Kafka’s report today that the service has locked in its exclusive content deals with Disney and Fox is heartening for Hulu fans.
One big downside looming is that the network owners are considering extending the window of time between when shows air live and when they end up on Hulu. Right now it’s next day delivery, but the LA Times reported last week that could grow to as much as eight days. Increasingly studios like HBO are locking up immediate web access to their shows inside an subscribers only app.
The whole thing must be pretty frustrating for Comcast, which got a big piece of Hulu when it purchased NBC, but basically agreed to give away its negotiating power in order to make the deal pass muster with regulators. As for Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, it’s a safe bet he’s ready for a change, whether that’s a new owner, or a chance to cash out his equity stake.
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