Hulu's Sticking Around as Well as Their Content - The UpStream

Hulu's Sticking Around as Well as Their Content

posted Sunday May 15, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Hulu's Sticking Around as Well as Their Content

Is Hulu finally seeing some light through the dirt on top of the grave they dug themselves? It seems so, after first seeing the 360 pick up Hulu Plus and now we are hearing that after the trouble Hulu's been in with keeping some of its content, the company is nearing a deal with NBC, ABC and FOX to maintain their programming.

Word is that an extension to the contract that Disney, News Corp. and NBC Universal signed two years ago should pan out in the next week or so. This deal is being headed by Hulu CEO Jason Kilar and reps from News Corp., Disney and Investor Providence Equity Partners. NBC Universal, part owners in Hulu, gave up their board and management positions earlier in the year and must accept the result of all this negotiating.

We have a more in-depth look after the break.

Kilar had this to say about the negotiations, saying that this view was reflected across all parties involved.

News Corp, Disney, Providence and the Hulu team have been engaged in productive discussions to extend our existing content agreements a number of years. Keep in mind that our existing content agreements already extend for several more years; these discussions would extend the term further and also extend our separate Hulu Plus content agreements.

Between the operating results and formalizing the above, it is shaping up to be a big year for Hulu.

Sources have reported that we will see Hulu keep the same infrastructure it's had in the past, even after these deals are signed. Still the same ad-supported premise with Hulu Plus expanding out to more and more devices.

We also shouldn't see any changes to the occasional users of the site. Some shows may not be there anymore, some might, but the heavy hitters should stay in play. The only thing that will more than likely change are how long and when shows will end up on the site and how much cash Hulu will have to fork over to get their hands on it.

Hulu had originally wanted to work out deals with networks that would give exclusivity to the content, but after seeing how successful other companies have been in the past, specifically Netflix, it only makes sense that networks would want to keep this open and disregard that idea. It's assumed that the new terms will include the ability for networks to do what they want with the content with other digital media distributors.

CEO Bob Iger of Disney kind of said this during an earnings call earlier in the week when he said that, "We don't intend to let a platform — even one we own — get in the way of doing what we think is right"

Good news is that the rumors that Kilar wants the site to go away seems to be, well, going away. Even after the nasty blog post Kilar wrote in February attacking the TV industry and upsetting his bosses, he still has his job and the anger level has dropped since then. However, Kilar's contract is said to be up in July, but we've been told he would want to stay on board and not leave. I wouldn't leave, especially at a time where things may turn around for the company.


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