Netflix announced yesterday that it had struck a long term agreement with NBC Universal for the rights to stream prior seasons of some of its hit shows, as well as stream new episodes of Saturday Night Live the day after they broadcast. The deal is apparently through at least the 2012 television season, but no word on possible extensions to it.

Netflix App icon“This agreement adds meaningfully to the wide variety of content that can be streamed from Netflix and breaks new ground in our relationship with NBC Universal,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix.

“We are very pleased to continue our successful relationship with Netflix,” said Frances Manfredi, executive vice president and general sales manager of cable and non-theatrical sales for NBC Universal Domestic TV Distribution, who forged the deal. “We applaud Netflix for recognizing the value of content like ‘SNL,’ ‘Friday Night Lights,’ ‘Monk,’ and ‘Battlestar Galactica’ to their subscribers.”

That’s great and all, but did NBC some how forget about Hulu, and more specifically Hulu Plus?

What possible sense does it make to add more ammunition to Neflix gaining more streaming customers if one of the key reasons for buying Hulu Plus is also on Netflix. You can pay $9.99 a month for Hulu to get a couple networks and a few movies, or you can pay $8.99 for Netflix to get one of the major networks from Hulu, a ton of other television programs and thousands of movies. Gee, which one do you think it makes more sense to subscribe to now?

Sure you can make the argument that the more venues NBC shows are available in is better for the brand, but it’s like pulling a leg out from the table that is Hulu.  Does this bode ill for the newly launched Hulu Plus?  Has NBC, one of the driving companies behind the venture already given up hope?

Only time will tell, but it sure doesn’t make a lot of sense to us.

What say you?  Is there any reason to have Hulu Plus now?