Dis*Content: Why Can’t Google Invest in Hulu? Or At Least Do A Syndication Deal


imageimageIn our occasional, slightly out-there look at the industry

As I have been playing around with Sling.com, the new video portal from Echostar-owned Sling Media, this thought came to mind: if Sling can make a deal with Hulu to essentially create a competitor to Hulu, then why can’t Google (NSDQ: GOOG) make a deal with the News Corp-NBCU JV? With YouTube, Google will continue having a tough time doing mainstream full-episode TV deals. I think even YouTube realizes it, as its head of content partnerships Jordan Hoffner hinted in his speech at B&C’s OnScreen Media Summit this week:


Ranga @ malaysiahosting

Google even if make a deal with Hulu whats the point, this is the most strange thing that have happened. As John Doe says keep an eye on Funn Networks. that will be the best thing to do.
main reason i suppose is that Google does not allow third parties to resell the ads.

P. Lee

Do you really think Hulu, in light of the plight of Big Media, ex., GE/NBC cutting out 5 hours of primetime, down to or less than even FOX that they would allow any opportunity for a competitor, Google/YouTube, to gain a beachhead with premium content?

I guess we can look forward to more talk shows on Hulu, so say we all!

John Doe

Keep an eye on Funn Networks. Rumor has it they have been in stealth since 02' and have the iP's to back a propritary content and ad delivery service that MPAA, Harry Fox and others are looking very closely in working with. If and when Funn launches, content owners of all sizes will be able to do things they have never been able to do.


This is not shocking at all, the issue here is that Google hopes to one day get direct content deals with NBCU/Fox without sacrificing ad revenue to Hulu.

Hulu does not allow 3rd parties to re-sell ad inventory and as such, much of the power that Google would bring to such an experience would be diminished. Google isn't in the business of needing a small % rev share; and they can wait out the content contracts that Hulu has. For example, with content restricted to the United States (as per Hulu today), how much money WOULD Google stand to make based on the publicly understood Hulu rev share deals?

IMO – YouTube will continue to lockup content deals and will pressure NBCU/Fox to sign up once their contractual obligations to Hulu sunset.

John Doe

Honestly, why don't you just ask Hulu, and FOX and NBCU for that matter just fire their whole advertising team and give the business to Google! If you are a major media company/publisher, and you are in bed with Google, you should get your head out of the sand! As the General Council of NBCU said a few weeks ago at the Future of TV event in NYC; "The great thing about Tina Fey's skits of Sarah Palin on SNL, was not that it drove a lot of video streams on YouTube, but that it drove traffic and brand awareness to Hulu.com"

ps: create longer submit forms so people don't have to break up their rants!

John Doe

If Hulu does a deal with Google, and gives YouTube a backdoor way of getting premium content, then all those YouTube users (and everyone else) will just go to YouTube, not Hulu. Hulu may collect some ad revenue, but because YouTube has such significant traffic (way beyond that of any other video site out there) then from a branding perspective users would think "YouTube" not "Hulu" to watch the latest episode of The Office. The deals Hulu has done with Dailymotion, break.com, blinkx.com, etc. allow them to get their brand in front of users who are looking for premium content, but ultimately drive traffic BACK TO HULU!

John Doe

If you think that for Hulu (aka FOX/NBC) Google is NOT the enemy, then I can't figure out how you got this job!

Frank Sinton

Rafat – that would be interesting. In fact, I have started to see Hulu embeds pop up on other video sharing sites (DailyMotion, Break) – although in a limited fashion (1 giant, meta user account).

Our service fills in the gap here, since we don't host and provide easy ways to stay updated on all of your favorite channels on YouTube, Hulu TV Shows, ABC TV Shows, and much more. You can subscribe to all of these (easy import if you already subscribe to shows at those services) and always stay updated, no matter where these videos are hosted: http://www.mefeedia.com

Sling will be an interesting one to watch, but for those without a Sling box, Mefeedia.com is set top box-independent, so you aren't behold to one set top box or another.

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