As expected, Comcast announced its buyout of NBC Universal today, a deal that has left many wondering what will happen to Hulu, the ad-driven TV and movie streaming site. According to Comcast COO Stephen Burke the answer is: not much. Burke referred to Hulu's existing business model as "smart and appropriate" and said there aren't any plans to change the site.
Burke noted that NBC has been "careful not to put too much cable content on the Internet." Comcast CEO Brian Roberts emphasized further that Comcast has no intent to "crush [Hulu] like a bug." It's worth mentioning that NBCU is only one of two other studios (ABC and Fox) with a stake in Hulu, so it can't determine the site's fate outright. Roberts also said that a Hulu subscription model isn't in the cards -- but time will tell.
As reported yesterday, under the agreement, NBCU will be owned 51% by Comcast and 49% by GE. The deal is subject to closing conditions, and could take a year or longer before completion. Read Comcast's rundown of the transaction here, and a great interview conducted by All Things Digital here.