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Hulu Pondering Live Streams And Less Free Content

by Sean P. Aune | January 27, 2011January 27, 2011 8:14 am PDT

It would appear that some people inside of free TV service Hulu want the company to charge you to catch up with episodes you may have missed.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that News Corp. and Walt Disney Co. – which own television networks Fox and ABC respectively – are increasingly dissatisfied with how much content is give out on video streaming site Hulu for free.  While both companies have equal equity stakes in the site with NBC owner NBC Universal, these two companies would like to see less content streamed under the ad-supported revenue model, and more of it moved to a fee-based system.

Apparently the plan now being proposed by News Corp and Walt Disney Co. is to have the site morph into something more akin to a cable box situation.  You would get a mixture of live television broadcasts and video on demand.  (To be honest, we’re a bit confused by this.  Isn’t the site already, technically, “video on demand”?)

It was first reported back in Dec. of last year that Hulu might be looking at additional subscription models, but it wasn’t suggested that site might completely change its structure.  A lot of this is apparently been brought on by Netflix’s continued growth, and the fact that everything it streams has a price attached to it.  ABC and Fox are said to be looking harder at selling more content to the “competition” as opposed to what they see as giving it away on Hulu.  With the rumors of how much Netflix spends on streaming content, you can’t really blame them.

All of this is purely in the talking stage, and no final decisions have been made, but when you consider the numerous rumors of how things at Hulu will be changing, it won’t be surprising if something major happens eventually.

What say you?  Are you up for less free content on Hulu?

[via The Wall Street Journal]

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...