Feeds

Comcast promises not to lock Hulu behind paywall

Enjoy it while it lasts

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
Class war! Wikipedia's workers revolt again
Bourgeois paper-shufflers have 'suspended democracy', sniff unpaid proles
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.