NBC Digital Exec George Kliavkoff Defends Hulu


From Peter Kafka: NBC’s George Kliavkoff, interviewed by former CBS exec Andy Heyward, uses his stage time at the OMMA conference to defend Hulu. He does an OK job.

The much-derided JV, set to launch next month, will reach 98% of uniques via distribution partners. So why have a standalone site, and why would someone watch “Heroes” on Hulu instead of, say, Yahoo? George suggests that Hulu will feature better quality video, full screen video, and assorted “tools and tricks” — he’s vague about the latter.  We analyse these points here.

Asked about the NBC/iTunes dispute, George says it was a private negotiation that got leaked. “It shouldn’t be a public thing.” But since both sides sending out press releases, George reiterates NBC’s argument: NBC wants pricing flexibility, ability to bundle shows, and help from Apple on piracy issues.

He also offers fodder for those who claim Comcast has been cutting off or crippling Internet subscribers who trade files by singling out AT&T and Comcast as being “really outstanding” in efforts to help crack down on piracy. He doesn’t explain exactly what Comcast is doing.

George is excited about mobile, which could be a huge business. But first US carriers need to cooperate, because the revenue model is “broken”: Carriers get 70 per cent of content revenue, aggregators get 21 per cent, and creators get 9%. That’s not enough incentive to make new content.

See Also: analysing NBC’s defence of Hulu, Why Hulu is Screwed, Part 1, Part 2: Bad Economics, ABC: We’re Not Working With Hulu, Either