AfterDawn: Tech news

Hulu to become online cable provider?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 28 Jan 2011 2:08 User comments (9)

Hulu to become online cable provider? Despite continued growth and popularity, Hulu is allegedly in serious talks to become an online cable operator, completely re-branding itself.
The new company would broadcast live and on-demand content over the Web to paying customers.

Moving from its current free, ad-based business, and its Hulu Plus subscription plan, the new service would instead charge customers for bundles of channels like ABC, Fox, NBC, FoodNetwork, Disney, FX and more.

Hulu responded by saying "we do not comment on rumors and speculation, which is what this is."

The company brought in around $260 million in revenue for 2010, up from $108 million in 2009.

Hulu is jointly owned by NBCU, Fox and Disney.

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9 user comments

128.1.2011 3:41

Sounds good in theory...I'll sign up if it has speed channel and it costs less than cable.



228.1.2011 4:54

I'm listening, Hulu. I'd rather pay to have access to on-demand content online than for current cable or dish prices.

328.1.2011 10:53

Sound dumb to me I won't pay for less quality, less channels, and extra bandwidth charges down the road. But then I don't think downloading MP3's is so bright either for the same reason. When you have high quality gear crap doesn't play on it well. Maybe I need to go back to a transitor radio as that is the quality most like these days.

428.1.2011 15:21

I remember about 5 years ago there was talk about Ala Carte for cable/satellite providers but nothing was ever done. I would prefer picking and choosing the content I wish to watch as the current package I have of 120 channels only 7 are worth watching.
Having said that if Hulu allows something similar and keeps the prices at an affordable level I would consider it.

528.1.2011 16:03

I too would rather pay for the few channels I watch of the 200+ I have now. HuLu isn't going to have pick and choose, you'll pay one price for a package deal. Although the Ala Carte would sound good we would still end up paying too much for what we watch. The airlines are doing that exact thing right now and are nickel diming us on all sorts of things. Sure the ticket is cheap but if you have bags it costs more, want a different seat it coast more.... I think it would hurt us more breaking everything down into channels and how about those times when something is on one of the channels you normally wouldn't watch.

What we need is less monopolies and more regulations as communication companies tend to rule the world these days due to their allowed size and the fact that the government caters to them.

628.1.2011 22:46

More government is never the solution. What we need is live streaming over the internet of every channel, with a pay-per-channel-per-month pricing structure. Bad channels would be gone within a year, good channels would have more money to become great channels, and great channels would get big heads and forget about their audiences, thus reverting to good or even bad channels. This would actually be very affordable for companies to do...on-demand streaming uses a lot of bandwidth, but a single streaming feed uses very little.

Actually, it is amazing that companies like Fox don't do this already, and for free. They make enough money on advertising to pay for local stations and broadcasting towers...that stuff isn't cheap. It would cost a lot less to do a streaming service to the entire planet than to run one major city station. If you put all the people who would only be able to watch the streaming version of Fox into a single city, it would be the most populous city on earth, and Fox would be killing themselves trying to setup multiple stations at any cost...yet they don't seem interested in this market, and NBC, CBS, ABC, etc seem just as clueless. Really, even a network like Comedy Central could do really well using this free business model...but no one seems willing to be the first.



729.1.2011 1:58

Who said more government, I sure didn't, we don't need more government to do what we were doing 20+ years ago, we just need to get back to that regulation and not permit monopolies. I realize though that those times were before you were born.

Bad channels wouldn't necessarily be gone on an Ala-Carte system at least not in this environment. You would just pay a lot more for the popular channels in order to still cover the lesser ones. If the programming totally stood on its own then you would be correct and only the popular channels would survive. This would also be bad as it would be more like Hollywood movie production these days and we would be stuck with crap programming even worse than what we have now. There is no way I could watch garbage like King of the Hill, Family Guy, The Simpsons, and whatever new crap they have out now.

Although it seems live streaming is popular, just like DL'n MP3's, it isn't what we need right now. Again the quality isn't there, it takes to much bandwidth on an overly stressed system and I'm not sure the TV's are up to snuff to handle this either. Maybe in ten years this will be the thing but not right now.

QUOTE:
"Actually, it is amazing that companies like Fox don't do this already, and for free. They make enough money on advertising to pay for local stations and broadcasting towers..."

Do you really think they make enough money already? These are greedy companies that NEVER make enough money. If they can have advertising and a pay base they are going to attempt that, which is exactly what is going on right now. Again they can do this because the competition isn't there and most people are brain washed into thinking it is OK to have commercial TV and pay for it too.

829.1.2011 6:47

Originally posted by Mr-Movies:
What we need is less monopolies and more regulations

You want to go back to 20 years ago? I'll assume you actually mean more like 40 years ago...before the monopolies, or at least before the monopolies were so brazen. Well, it isn't going to happen. If there is any change in government involvement it will be just like every other change in government involvement...an increase.

Live streaming is actually not bandwidth intensive. I could live stream fox at 1080P from my home internet connection without problems. Sure, they would need authentication servers and a few other things to set it up to serve millions of people, but it would still be a very low cost operation...probably less than 1% of the operating costs of Hulu, and with more users and ad revenue. This is why I am so surprised that they don't do this. I mean, they don't just want to make money...they want to make profits. Cutting broadcasting costs is an obvious profit generation method...if just one station was made redundant by streaming, they would have cut costs...if Hulu was made redundant, they would have slashed them. The other side of profits is the revenues...if you reach more customers, you can sell ad space for more money, and thus you make more profit. Live streaming would make profits on both sides. I realize that they are attempting to make profits three ways with Hulu+++ or whatever they will call this...but they will probably be the kind of senseless package deals that cable companies offer...like putting Spike and Bravo on the same channel pack, and they will probably cost almost as much as cable, if not more, and they will end up loosing billions, and then they will never do a decent live streaming service until some upstart comes along and makes them all look like the idiots that they are.


929.1.2011 12:13

Originally posted by KillerBug:
Originally posted by Mr-Movies:
What we need is less monopolies and more regulations

You want to go back to 20 years ago? I'll assume you actually mean more like 40 years ago...before the monopolies, or at least before the monopolies were so brazen. Well, it isn't going to happen. If there is any change in government involvement it will be just like every other change in government involvement...an increase.

Live streaming is actually not bandwidth intensive. I could live stream fox at 1080P from my home internet connection without problems. Sure, they would need authentication servers and a few other things to set it up to serve millions of people, but it would still be a very low cost operation...probably less than 1% of the operating costs of Hulu, and with more users and ad revenue. This is why I am so surprised that they don't do this. I mean, they don't just want to make money...they want to make profits. Cutting broadcasting costs is an obvious profit generation method...if just one station was made redundant by streaming, they would have cut costs...if Hulu was made redundant, they would have slashed them. The other side of profits is the revenues...if you reach more customers, you can sell ad space for more money, and thus you make more profit. Live streaming would make profits on both sides. I realize that they are attempting to make profits three ways with Hulu+++ or whatever they will call this...but they will probably be the kind of senseless package deals that cable companies offer...like putting Spike and Bravo on the same channel pack, and they will probably cost almost as much as cable, if not more, and they will end up loosing billions, and then they will never do a decent live streaming service until some upstart comes along and makes them all look like the idiots that they are.
No, government doesn't have to grow to do what they are already doing now. They are still regulating businesses but the problem is they are allowing monopolies instead of restricting them. This is due to corruption in our government. So it wouldn't cost more or expand government more to restrict monopolies.

It does take more bandwidth to stream video and audio just because you can do it doesn't mean it isn't labor intensive so that argument is bogus. Install a network analyzer to your system and monitor traffic and you'll see.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 29 Jan 2011 @ 12:14

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