Like all online video sites, Hulu is at the mercy of its content partners: If someone yanks Hulu’s Web rights to a show, Hulu has to pull the show. The best Hulu can do is offer a warning so that it’s not a complete surprise to its viewers.
So it’s understandable that Hulu’s viewers might have gotten upset when the site deleted almost three seasons worth of FX’s “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” with basically no notice. (We’d note that the show’s recent popularity should be credited in large part to Hulu.)
In a blog post today, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar apologized to his customers for the inconvenience, vowed to give longer notice in the future, and replaced the episodes for two more weeks — something he noted corporate relative FX “was very quick to say yes to.” (Hulu is a joint venture of News Corp. and NBC Universal.)
But the sad-but-true reminder to Hulu’s viewers: Until digital revenue can offset media companies’ offline revenue, this is going to keep happening as content companies shift online content on- and off-sites, as TV seasons rotate, DVDs come out, etc.
Meanwhile, for the next two weeks, enjoy one of our favourite episodes.