Hulu built a top-10 video site primarily on the quality of NBC and Fox TV shows. But it won’t be sharing in NBC U’s biggest-ticket program — the Beijing Olympics.
As part of the joint venture, Hulu has exclusive rights to distribute Fox and NBC TV to third-party sites for two years. But the deal doesn’t cover news or sports. And while Hulu has plenty of news clips (from NBC News, MSNBC, and Fox News) as well as some sports, like the 2008 Fiesta Bowl and National Hockey League Games, a source confirms Hulu has no “current plans” to show clips of the Games.
NBC U has good reason not to share the Olympics with Hulu. First off, Hulu (of which NBC U owns 40%), seems to be doing just fine without the Games. Second, NBC says it’s having no problem selling its projected online ad inventory for the Games, and the network would much rather keep 100% of the ad revenue, rather than send back 30% to Hulu per the terms of the revenue-sharing deal. (Even distribution partner MSN refers traffic back to NBCOlympics.com.)
Still, in addition to NBC U’s 2,200 hours of live coverage, it will have more than 3,000 hours of recorded on-demand video, which would be a good fit for Hulu. Will Hulu get some Olympics video? Unlikely, but neither NBC nor Hulu completely ruled it out.
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