In exchange for supporting the Comcast-NBC deal, the FCC may demand that NBC licence its shows online to whoever wants them instead of just streaming them on Hulu and NBC.com, Peter Kafka says.
This would be a major blow to Hulu, which benefits greatly from having semi-exclusive access to its partners’ shows.
If YouTube, Yahoo, AOL and others can all licence The Office on the same terms that Hulu does, there won’t be as much reason for people to go to Hulu, and Hulu’s revenue will get clocked.
But there’s still hope.
As Peter Kafka also notes, it’s not quite clear yet what the FCC wants, so Hulu may yet be saved. The FCC may just want Hulu to continue to sub-licence NBC content to AOL, Yahoo, and others, the way it already does (you can watch Hulu-licensed shows on third-party web sites, and Hulu gets a piece of the revenue).
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