It was fun while it lasted... This could be the statement that a lot of folks will be uttering in the near future in regards to watching TV shows on Hulu. Apparently, Hulu is being pressured by the cable and satellite companies, and sometime soon users may be required to prove they have a subscription to cable or satellite TV in order to use the Hulu service. Right now this is just a rumor, but supposedly Hulu and its content providers have been discussing this possibility since 2009, and eventually Hulu may just have to capitulate to their demands. In the mean-time, the more likely outcome could be that instead of having to prove that you already pay for cable or satellite, there will be a delay of between 1 and 30 days for you to watch the show compared to when it airs on the cable and satellite stations. Here is a quote from TechCrunch with the details,
If this eventually does happen to Hulu, it would pretty much ruin its whole business-model, as it would become a puppet of the cable and satellite companies. In fact, the source of this article indicates that one of the three parent companies of Hulu, Providence Equity Partners, is attempting to sell their stake in the company because they see the writing on the wall as far as the future of the service goes. What do you guys think?We just talked to a source close to Hulu. According to our source, Hulu and its content providers have talked about this move toward authentication since 2009. Our source noted that Hulu has no interest in being a first mover here and that a requirement for authentication is likely still a few years out. Hulu, however, does want to be a good partner and may have to give in to its partners’ pressure soon or later. Even though an authentication requirement isn’t likely to happen right away, though, our source notes that what could happen relatively soon is that the content providers could require longer delays before their shows become available on the service for non-subscribers. Cable subscribers, under this model, would get access to a show on Hulu the next day, while non-subscribers would have to wait at least 30 days. This model would likely also apply to Hulu Plus subscribers.