Thursday, April 30, 2009

Disney Joins NBCU, News Corp. on Hulu -- and why do some people still want to call it Hula

Well, it seems that Disney/ABC decided to sleep with the enemy and agreed to an equity stake in Hulu, along with NBC and Fox. According to the press release from Disney's CEO, Robert Igor, "From our landmark iTunes deal to our pioneering decision to stream ad-supported shows on our player, Disney has sought to meet the constantly evolving viewing habits of our consumers, and today's Hulu announcement is the next important step in that ongoing journey."

Now full length shows from ABC, Disney and its other channels will populate Hulu alongside NBC and Fox programming. Certainly this makes Hulu even more of a "one stop shop" for long form broadcast and cable tv and movie programming, but is it necessarily a good thing. While these content giants compete in the linear space, they are each on the board of Hulu. Does that raise any monopolistic issues? How do these giants compete and co-habitate at the same time Is all this power in one place a good thing or not? And should the FCC and the government have a say?

One last line in this article says it all - "The transaction is subject to regulatory review." Interesting to see what is said.