Hulu Moves to Zap Free TV

...Unless you're already paying for cable

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 1, 2012 10:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – Using Hulu to avoid paying for cable may not work for much longer: The TV site plans to implement a new "authentication" model, forcing viewers to prove they're pay TV customers by signing in with their cable or satellite account number, sources tell the New York Post, adding that it's what prompted one longtime Hulu investor, Providence Equity Partners, to cash out last week. Fox is expected to begin talks soon with Comcast and TV Everywhere to require authentication.

But don't panic just yet. A source at Hulu tells TechCrunch that while Hulu has been talking about authentication since 2009, it "has no interest in being a first mover here," so it'll probably be years before anything is implemented. Mashable's sources say ABC and NBC may soon implement a delay between when a show airs and when it goes on Hulu, or authorization-lock their mobile apps, but it's not imminent. Fox already does this, and requires authentication for certain shows. Some of the talks the Post referenced appear to simply be expanding which cable providers have access to those shows.

Shown is a screen shot of the Hulu.com Web site.
Shown is a screen shot of the Hulu.com Web site.   (AP Photo/Hulu.com)
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