Could Hulu find itself without content?

hulu-logoVia the news wires this morning… Vivendi S.A. is now poised to give their blessing to one of the biggest media deals this decade: a merger of Comcast with NBC/Universal that would create a joint venture largely controlled by Comcast.  What could this mean for VOD fans of online content that is now free for the viewing?

Look for Comcast to possibly put the brakes on Hulu as soon as the deal with GE is complete (and all regulatory issues are cleared).  This could take six months to a year, but Hulu is probably living on borrowed time as a free, advertiser supported service… that is, if Comcast doesn’t decide to yank all NBC content completely off the service, leaving Hulu devoid of some of the most popular entertainment it has.

Comcast has founding stake in Fancast, Hulu’s competition, which may develop into a subscription-only service.  They are also developing another subscription-based online service known as TV Everywhere, which the other cable giants are looking at for saving the industry from the concept of “free.”  It remains to be seen if the other players supporting HuluDisney/ABC and Fox and Showtime Networks (which is part of CBS Corp. and might favor Fancast for online delivery of content) would remain committed to the service if Comcast makes such a move.

Unless Hulu is eventually merged with Fancast or follows the cable industry’s preferred subscription-only model, it could be a rather quiet place to surf over to for VOD.  If Comcast does follow through in favoring its subscription cable services, this could mean that programming from the USA Network, Bravo, SyFy, Style, E!, Versus, and Oxygen, among others, might disappear.  As this is a developing situation and story, we’re sure to hear a lot more as the sale of NBC/Universal to Comcast becomes a reality.

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Christian Hokenson

Christian Hokenson

Christian Hokenson enjoys knife throwing, growing exotic mosses, and that warm spot where the sun shines through the corrugated box. Christian also writes for Gadget Review. You can also find Christian on Google+, and Twitter.

2 Replies to “Could Hulu find itself without content?”

  1. joyceR says:

    can Hulu just go social and not worry about big studio productions? or go indy productions?

  2. Aaron says:

    I guess it would be OK if Fancast merged with Hulu. That it, only if they favor the Hulu interface. Let’s face it, the Fancast interface is crowded and awkward. For example, accessing your subscriptions/queue on Hulu is quick and easy. Due to licensing deals, people often wait up to 8 days before their show becomes available on Hulu. Perhaps a SMALL fee to be able to access shows earlier or watch feature length films (with limited commercials or without) wouldn’t be that big of a deal.

    Hopefully Comcast will play nice and can come to some type of agreement with the other providers. If they don’t it could very well come back to bite them (Fancast relies on these same content providers).

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