To the more budget minded, services like Hulu are a godsend; for a fraction of the cost of Cable TV, you can get a large chunk of the content. The deal isn't great for everyone, though, since it cuts into cable providers and networks' huge profits (instead, they just get... normal profits). Clearly this is a serious problem, and it's been speculated  that it's probably the main reason companies like Comcast have instituted bandwidth caps on their internet service - so as to curb enthusiasm for streaming services in favor of their own (more expensive) in-house offerings. Unfortunately, it appears the companies are still too threatened by streaming content, and word has it that Hulu could require a paid cable TV subscription to work.

If this is the direction the industry is moving, it's certainly the wrong one, and it's a battle that will end with no winners.

[Source: NY Post, via The Verge]

Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=7712379 Aaron Godfrey

    Wow. Wonder what they are doing to Hulu to make them concede to this?

    • trgs

      Simple. Threaten to withhold content. 

    • AaronGingrich

      The major networks all helped found Hulu, which is why they provide the bulk of Hulu's content.

      • http://meatcastle.com/ Youre My Boy Bloo

        I find it shocking that people do not know things like this. These are the same people that are baffled about how NBC gets the rights to broadcast the Olympics every year.

      • cashd00d

        Hulu was founded by NBC (Universal/Comcast) and FOX (News Corp), and is currently owned by NBC, FOX, and ABC (Disney). I thought everybody knew this already. CBS is the only major network in the US that has no interest in Hulu (other than it's 50% ownership of The CW).

  • http://digg.com/users/OmegaWolf Silver Fang

    Thus sites like the Pirate Bay will continue to go from strength to strength.

  • Matt

    Haha! So, instead of embracing innovation, they are going to stick with what they think works? Pay for Hulu? Do they think that locking down PirateBay in the UK is a step towards forcing participation in their business model. The industries naïveté is moving past sad and heading towards criminal.

  • cody kain

    and no big shocker there just like netflix and redbox being restricted

  • Jeffrey Tarman

    If this holds true, then this will be a nail in the coffin for Hulu and bring Apple's iTV and Google's version into the spotlight as long as there's no need for a paid cable subscription


      GoogleTV and I'm sure Apple/iTV is meant to supplement cable TV...

  • Ryan Rodio

    Well the good news is that music pirating is going to take a back seat to streaming and pirating television shows now.

  • andrew__des_moines

    We dumped Direct TV and have three Rokus now that rely on Hulu Plus as a major source of content.  This would certainly affect our household.  I would not mind paying more, but to compensate the content owners not the cable/satellite providers.  If the TV/movie industry really wants to fight innovation and customer's preferred method of utilizing their content, then they will suffer the same fate as the music industry.  Some may remember the cable and satellite industry's successful lobbying against providing content over the internet that blocked streaming services for years.  I for one would support piracy for a limited time if this gains hold again as it is the only effective way to force content owners to accept changing technology.  Cable and satellite used to be the gatekeepers between content owners and consumers -- and made a fortune doing so -- but they are no longer needed and can only survive preying on the fears of the entertainment industry and political lobbying.


      Its sad. Cuz anything we do to boycott something like this would be lost do to all the idiots that will just deal with it. And the fact that the profit they lose from us will be near nothing to the money they make... 

  • Richie

    So long Hulu it was nice knowing you. Lol @ the cable companies thinking I will ever return to their overpriced garbage.

    • http://meatcastle.com/ Youre My Boy Bloo

      So true. This whole thing is just another volley in the war on cable. Hopefully when cable providers do not see an uptick in subscribers they will finally understand they have lost, and begin creating pick and choose plans.

  • Boteeka

    It's just plain ridiculous to pay for a cable subscription only to be able to watch shit-loads of ads. Basically you are paying to watch ads half of the time. Other services on the internet which show you ads are for free, if you pay for them the ads go away.


    I would say Hulu will lose paying customers if they did this.

  • http://www.technogeekguy.com dswartze

    Then why am I paying for Hulu Plus?

  • http://twitter.com/andr3wjacks0n andrew jackson

    Torrrenters will win.

  • Cuvis

    I think these idiots have forgotten that they're competing with free.

  • http://abbiesreadingcorner.com/ Abbie

    Well they would lose me for sure. I am not going to pay to have cable AND Hulu + that is stupid. Yes I watch two shows on hulu plus and I would miss them BUT there are other options I can go over to Amazon and do the tv pass and since I only watch two shows I would end up saving money that way. So in the end they would lose money. I am not going back to cable even if it means I can't watch my shows as they air worse case I will wait till the dvd comes out with the new season. The money I would save each month from Hulu + I could buy dvds etc. If this happens I think Hulu + would die.

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

    Interesting thought question...if bandwidth caps were put into place to prevent people from streaming tv and encourage people to continue paying for cable tv, then why cap the people who already pay for cable tv?  Of course, I'm asking rhetorically, I'm sure it's to avoid making it too obvious that they are effectively price fixing and it also gives them an excuse to put tiered pricing into effect.

    Much like cell carriers, I think we aren't that many years away from seeing these services become commoditized and hopefully seeing their profits fall more in line with the quality of service they offer...and ideally I'd kinda like to see some government regulation (I know, a lot of regulation is bad, but look at the profits, obviously people are getting ripped off).

  • Jerome

    If this happens by by hulu plus................

  • Major_Pita

    I've got nothing against paying a reasonable fee for the content I watch. I won't pay a penny the to cable industry though. If they would listen to customers and offer more choices like ala-cart cable channel selection for example, they might not be in this fix. Hard to tell if this issue is a case of hulu simply trying to weasel more money from it's customers or whether they're being extorted by the cable cartel. Wish there was a little more back-storey to this.

  • Jay Ryan

    google TV is where i'll go

  • DebraPMeredith
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=564491883 Ronald Garay

    Tv, music, and ISP are all moving backwards.

  • DebraPMeredith
  • Jeremy Powers

    For those of us with cable it will be nice if they provide hulu free of charge like Comcast's XfinityTV service (xfinitytv.comcast.net/)

  • Asphyx

    This IS the direction TV is going in and there is no stopping it!
    Don't blame the cable companies for this it is not thier doing it is the content creators/TV Networks who are insisting on this.

    Yes it does mean a boon to the Cable MSOs who have taken a big hit from the streaming due to the cable cutters moving to Hulu and Netflix to get their TV.
    But the Cable companies are not losing as much money as people think because of the cable cutters. For every TV subscriber they lose thats less money they have to pay the Networks as far as "Per Subscriber" rates. And many of those who cut the TV chord keep the broadband chord intact to have the net access they use to streams. By cutting the chord you reduce the fees the cable companies pay to the networks but keep a more profitable and low overhead revenue stream intact/

    It is the networks and Content providers themselves that are insisting on this because the majority of their money comes on a per subscriber basis from the Cable companies. The advertising is only a portion of thier profits now because those are based on who is watching not how many are subscribed.

    They have realized that if they saturate the market with cheaper alternatives to see their content they will lose the lionshare of the money they make and to stop that they are making you buy your internet license to see this contect from the cable companies where they have some power over you they don't have via the streaming.

    This has been a long time coming and the only way to stop it is to stop watching TV altogether!
    Then they might start doing what people wold much rather prefer which is to allow individuals to select which channels they subscribe to individually and will allow them to pay only for the channels they want to watch reducing their overall TV bill and can see that content sing any method that sits them. That means wither an ala carte Cable subscription model for the cable MSOs or the networks themselves taking over content authorization that you can add your user/pass to your cable box to get what you paid for.

    That basically means Cable Boxes become nothing more than any other device you can currently use to stream media and the old standard of sending everything and scrambling what you don't get will be over! It will be a fully P2P viewing experisnce! 

  • John O’Connor

    Disappointing much?? If I am already paying for both Hulu Plus and Every Damn cable channel out there (certain packages only have certain networks and I need my premium services), will Hulu be removing their ads from their Plus members (big complaint for a paid service) after instituting this "change"?

    Also, will Hulu only work on certain cable providers like HBOGo does currently and does this only apply to the primary account login, only work on certain devices, subject to bandwidth caps and various other restrictions?If you can't get your $#%^ together Hulu, I will just cancel your services and save myself the $8 dollars a month and spend it on a pack of cigarettes.  I don't know who in there right mind would wish to pay twice for the same service anyhow (and still get stuck with commercials)!!

    • Asphyx

      Two ways to look at this...
      1 - You won't have to worry about Hulu charging more to bring you more content because you will have already paid for viewing that content and Hulu will get to stream it to you without having to pay a license fee to the network for carrying it. That means Hulu will only have to charge for the infrastructure they maintain to give you the streams not have to pay the networks for the rights to stream as they do in many cases now.
      2 - Things like Hulu plus will move to a more Cable Carrier model where you pay yor subscription to them just as you would the cable company and get your content without having to have Cable.

      The major change here is that Networks want to get a per subscriber fee from every user that watches their content and that could be a cable company or Hulu itself but in the end you should not have to pay twice for the same content!

      If you subscribe via cable then you should not have to pay again to see it on Hulu other than the static monthly fee which could actually go down if they are no longer having to pay the networks to stream the feeds that subs already exist for.

      Hulu plus will become just another cable company if thats the case!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1645382940 Красимир Стефанов

    WHO cares? It's another US-only service. "Sorry, currently our video library can only be watched from within the United States"

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

      If you don't care, why are you even reading the article?
      If you're not in the US, don't complain about US-only companies moving around their chess pieces?
      Why add to the signal-to-noise ratio?

      This site leans towards US news.  As far as I'm aware, all of the writers are in the US.  I don't think the odds are good that you're going to find a ton of Bulgarian news here...

      Of course, if you wanted to be critical because this has almost nothing to do with Android, you might have more of a point.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      People in the U.S. do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1645382940 Красимир Стефанов

    WHO cares? It's another US-only service. "Sorry, currently our video library can only be watched from within the United States"

  • Freak4Dell

    I thought paying for Hulu was a stupid idea back when I found out it still didn't take away the ads, and I still think it's a stupid idea now.

    I guess maybe if I just really hated the idea of paying for cable, I'd have thought about getting Hulu Plus, but the only thing that really bothers me about my FiOS service is the outrageous DVR costs, so somehow, I think I'll live without any sort of Hulu subscription.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kenneth-Nemchak/1287028004 Kenneth Nemchak

    I'll drop Hulu Plus.

  • stlrzfan58

    Ya know, I read where the grand hulu pooba's dumped 600 million or so (?) into programming. This could be a case where the old adage "there's no such thing as bad publicity" comes into play.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/psycho_maniac_ Jerry Lange

    Comcast has been capped at 250gb forever

  • carbonated_turtle

    Oh, so you guys just want us to keep pirating media? Okay, it's your call.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/psycho_maniac_ Jerry Lange

    This is stupid. I'm waiting for my contact to end so I can just go with hulu plus.. What's next? you have to have premium cable to have hulu plus? Screw that!

  • WhatAJoke

    RIP Hulu.