CBS Plays The Hulu Waiting Game

CBS is now the last major network not to be part of Hulu, and some stories in the past few days lay out a set of reasons that go beyond the network being a throwback or disinterested.

CBS has arguably the biggest web hit, the NCAA basketball tournament, so Les Moonves and Co. aren’t Luddites. The company has simple made a bet on its own and is playing it out.

CBS doesn’t have to be bigger than Hulu, just profitable and with the infrastructure of CNET in-house, slow and steady may be a worthwhile effort at this point.

The other point, made in a Broadcasting and Cable story Thursday, CBS viewers skew older so it may not have to rush its shows to a huge online platform just yet.

Hulu, however, does have the buzz, the great commercials and now, shows from Fox, NBC and ABC.

Still, expect CBS to stick to its guns. As the terrific LA Times blog, Company Town, lays out, it believes in not giving away too much on the distribution front.

CBS’ strategy is to put its content all over the Web while keeping control of advertising. By partnering with Hulu, CBS would have to allow Hulu to act as distributor and salesman. In the wake of the Disney deal, CBS said it believes “controlling our own rights…in all media preserves its value in a multi-platform system.”

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