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The lack of cable programming that’s available for online streaming on Hulu isn’t the video JV’s fault, said Lauren Zalaznick, Chairman, NBCUniversal Entertainment & Digital Networks & Integrated Media, in a conversation with Staci D. Kramer, editor/EVP of ContentNext Media/paidContent at the paidContent 2011 conference.
Kramer had mentioned that she missed the end of Bravo’s Top Chef. Well, no chance watching it on Hulu, even though NBCU (NSDQ: CMCSA) is one of the primary backers. “No, you can’t watch it on Hulu, but you can DVR it,” Zalaznick noted.
She’s heard the complaint before about the problems of cable video streaming. “Hulu is not the issue,” Zalaznick said. “Nobody blocks it. It all goes back to the agreements that the content producers made with the MSOs. Those agreements are long and encumbered with provisions that don’t allow for digital video distributions.” Maybe being part of an MSO now could help.
Either way, things are evolving, though it’s taken a considerably long time, said Zalaznick. “One of the most important questions is what do you do with precious content that was once valued in ‘x way,’ and is now valued in ‘y way.’ But it’s something we’ve all been working on. To give you an idea, we previewed the short-lived sequel Queer Eye for the Straight Girl from Bravo seven years ago on AOL (NYSE: AOL). It was like landing a man on the moon. The floodgates were opening even then.”