It looks like Hulu will remain a strong force in the streaming content wars. The company is apparently very close to a new deal with its company overlords News Corp., Disney and NBC Universal to continue to stream FOX, NBC and ABC content. The new agreement would be an extension of the one signed two years ago, according to All Things Digital.
Here’s the statement from Hulu CEO Jason Kilar about the talks:
News Corp, Disney, Providence and the Hulu team have been engaged in productive discussions to extend our existing content agreements a number of years. Keep in mind that our existing Hulu.com content agreements already extend for several more years; these discussions would extend the term further and also extend our separate Hulu Plus content agreements.
Between the operating results and formalizing the above, it is shaping up to be a big year for Hulu.
If you remember, Kilar made a splash in February when he discussed the “future of TV” in a hulu blog post. In this post he challenged the basic structure of network television, saying that there are too many ads on traditional TV and that consumers don’t want lineups that are set in stone, but want to watch shows on their own time.
According to All Things D’s sources, most of the basic structure of the contract will remain unchanged. Hulu.com will stay ad-supported and Hulu Plus will still be a paid subscription with much more content. Hulu viewers probably won’t notice much change, as the new deal is likely to only affect a small amount of programming and possibly change the windows of availability for some content.
Though the terms of the new deal may not affect the normal viewer, they make shake up things for the companies involved. Apparently the terms may also deal with more flexible content distribution, allowing the networks the right to put their programming out on other outlets as well as Hulu. Disney’s CEO Bob Iger said that he “doesn’t intend to let a platform, even one we own, get in the way of doing what we think it right” at last week’s earnings call.
The landscape of digital streaming has changed dramatically since Hulu’s inception. Hulu Plus and Netflix will probably continue to due battle for the paid streaming content market. Just recently, Hulu Plus launched on Xbox 360, joining the already present Netflix app that has been around for some time.