Comcast Weighs Charging Viewers for Hulu

Cable giant no fan of free site, and could soon own NBC's part of it
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2009 3:25 PM CDT
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(Newser) – Comcast is no fan of Hulu's business model, and the cable giant could soon own a stake in the site—which means trouble for fans of using it to watch TV shows free. Comcast is in talks with NBC to pool their entertainment offerings in a joint venture that would include NBC’s various channels along with 30% of Hulu, the Los Angeles Times explains. Comcast would control the new company, and analysts think it would push Hulu to change.

“It would accelerate the inevitable path of Hulu to charge for its premium content,” said one media analyst. Comcast has made no secret of its disdain for Hulu’s free model. “If I am any one of these programmers…and 50%, 60%, 70% of my business comes from subscriptions, I want to think long and hard before I just put that content out there for free,” its CEO said in May.