Feeds

Comcast promises not to lock Hulu behind paywall

Enjoy it while it lasts

Top three mobile application threats

Comcast doesn't plan on locking Hulu behind a paywall once it's given the keys to NBC Universal.

In a deal valued at about $37 billion that ends General Electric's majority control of NBC Universal, the US cable giant is set to become a media superpower that not only oversees how television shows are distributed, but also how they're made.

The deal announced Thursday would give Comcast a 51 per cent stake in NBC Universal while GE keeps 49 per cent.

That has some Hulu fans worried that Comcast will demand viewers begin paying to watch shows on the website. Hulu is a joint venture between NBC Universal, Fox Entertainment (News Corp.), and ABC (The Walt Disney Company), with each controlling a 27 per cent stake.

But Comcast already owns an on-demand television website called TV Everywhere, along with a fellow US cable bigwig, Time Warner. The site is only available to paying subscribers of either company's cable services.

Comcast fielded several questions about the fate of Hulu on the conference call detailing the acquisition. When asked if the company would shepherd the creation of a "Hulu Premium," Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts said: "That is certainly not in the cards."

Comcast's chief operating officer Stephen Burke even said the ad-funded Hulu model is "smart and appropriate." He added that Hulu is a "complementary product" to their own TV website, with broadcast shows appearing on Hulu and cable shows on TV Everywhere.

But that still leaves News Corp.'s hanging threat to create a "premium" channel on Hulu. And Comcast can always get a change of deck. Enjoy free Hulu while it lasts. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.