Happy Hour is Safe, Hulu’s Fate is Not as Secure

While the New York Post received Mayor Bloomberg’s nomination for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction, it was another story that sent a few chills down my spine. Will Hulu be tied to a pay TV subscription?

the move by Hulu toward the new model — called authentication because viewers would have to log in with their cable or satellite TV account number — was behind the move last week by Providence Equity Partners to cash out of Hulu after five years, these sources said.

The major networks founded Hulu to prevent everyone from circumventing revenue-producing way of watching television. The move has been great. It has been a formidable way to get TV shows, and I have been a subscriber of Hulu Plus since the service launched. The appeal has always been that I can watch the television shows I want to watch and when I want to watch them.

This move could threaten the a-la-carte model that Hulu provides in favoring of bundling a package of channels that I’m never going to watch. While the Post article indicates that Providence Equity Partners is behind this strategy, I question that thinking for two reasons.

  1. the fact that one of the owners of Hulu is Comcast, the biggest and least favorite cable MSO in the United States, and a deal like this really help retains its customers; and…
  2. Hulu was up for sale last year, but then the sale was pulled due to its “unique and compelling strategic value”.

Free Press has launched an online petition to save Hulu from its possible fate as some “TV Everywhere” service that will only inflate cable bills.

(Via TV News Check.)

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