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Hulu may curb service with more authentication

updated 03:10 pm EDT, Mon April 30, 2012

Hulu may shift wholesale to requiring TV service

Hulu may remove itself from contention as a pure Internet video service based on rumors overnight. The historically connected New York Post cited insiders who claimed the service would take the Fox authentication strategy, where customers must prove they have conventional TV access, and make it a broader policy. Fox's deal would see it soon talk to Comcast for a deal using the TV Everywhere imitative.

The decision was supposedly part of why one of Hulu's main investors, Providence Equity Partners, had sold its stake in Hulu.

Non of the involved parties commented on the assertions. With negotiations possibly still in early phases, details of the system weren't available.

Going the authentication route would be a gamble for Hulu. Much of its appeal has come from having major TV network content that wasn't contingent on being an existing TV subscriber or having signed up for a particular network. A restriction would hurt those who can't justify the rising costs of traditional TV as well as give Hulu little advantage over provider-specific services like Comcast's own Streampix.

Hulu is unique in the industry for having large stakes from CBS, Disney, Fox's parent News Corp., and Comcast's TV wing NBCUniversal. The relationship has at times been chastised for preventing Hulu from being truly disruptive, leading it to policies such attempting to block free Hulu from any device that might normally hook up to a TV. Concerns have existed that the networks, eager to protect ad revenue that's currently higher on traditional TV, would take further steps to discourage cord-cutting from customers who don't want mandatory channel bundles or the technical ceilings of non-Internet TV.

Pay-per-show services like iTunes may get an assist if Hulu takes the route, as they cost more up front but don't require regular TV and have fewer hurdles, such as disappearing content or mid-show ads.

by MacNN Staff



  1. comanche8

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "conventional TV access" better mean Broadcast TV

    I live in the woods and Comcast refuses to hook me up! Hulu is one few ways I can get some of the shows I like. The hills and trees mess too much with any satellite access.
    I ordered AT&T Uverse over a month ago... They say they are waiting fir a part!(?) and they have no timetable for it to available - I think they are making it up or maybe making the part...

  1. SierraDragon

    Joined: Dec 1969



    There is substantial need for access without "standard TV" as a prerequisite. This is one of those things the FCC should facilitate rather than letting broadcasters force end users to include them in distribution.

  1. redcapzero

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I've just dumped my U-Verse account due to affordability; although I can swing the extra cash and keep mainstream streaming alive, I no longer feel the need, justification w/ their or any other "wired / cabled" distributor.

    In it's place, I hooked up w/ NetFlix running WiFi through my blueray & AirPort Experess (early Samsung LCD "Smart TV", with no ethernet port); 8 bucks a month as opposed to 92 per, nice savings.
    Seeing that I rarely, if ever watch ABC / NBC / CBS / FOX, a freind requested that I too hook up w / HULU...not if their "game" blooms.

    Just (planing to) aquire a indoor digital antena to pick up the locals come 49er season, and I'm good to go.
    Reading comes to mind, as does expanding my exercise about regressing...oh my!

  1. Nekogami13

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I have showtime, TNT, abc, uverse, PBS, the CW. Etc. already on my device. Why would I pay more for Hulu, when I get all of that anyway?

  1. ebeyer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    -> initiative.

    "Non" -> "None"

  1. UmarOMC

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I've got a Roku box, huluplus and Netflix... and a $10 set of rabbit ears... do I take a picture of my television displaying broadcast television and send it to hulu...? I prefer having high speed internet and paying $20/month to watch what I want when I want. Most broadcast television outside of Judge Judy is garbage anyway! lol

  1. UmarOMC

    Joined: Dec 1969



    At least I've come across that barely-more-credible-than-Insert Trash Gossip Checkout Line Publication Here paper before and I won't believe it until I see it.

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