Comcast promises not to crush Hulu like a bug

By on December 3, 2009, 5:00 PM
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.

User Comments: 23

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lfg18 said:

It would not be wise to crush Hulu, it is a very popular site and one of the only competitors of YouTube in the home video market, I think they can earn very good money from this site so I do not see Hulu dissapearing

stwongbad85 said:

not going to crush it....just stick a long pin through it's abdomen and tack it to a quark board on the wall for study so they know how to properly crush other similar sites that might pop up later on.

Basher said:

I never even thought they would crush it, I only see them finding more ways to profit from advertising. While that isn't necessarily bad, I still hate advertisements as much as anyone else.

vangrat said:

I would like to be able to use Hulu down here in the AU, It looks like a very ingenious idea, and if they did offer a subscrption modle you can bet I would drop Austar like a hot brick.

BlackIrish said:

Hulu should open up to the international market... then they can be real competitor to YouTube.

AnonymousSurfer AnonymousSurfer said:

Hulu should consist of more movies, it mostly contains shows instead of movies.

Boogityboo04 Boogityboo04 said:

>"Burke noted that NBC has been "careful not to put too much cable content on the Internet."

Well there's the problem with their business model right there.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

hulu is such a popular site why crush it like a bug unless you want to slap yourself in the face, there is alot of money to be made by hulu.

Styl said:

I like Hulu, and I doubt they'll crush it like a bug.

What content NBC doesn't put on the internet can still be easily obtained on the internet.

Decimae said:

Hulu should be expanding to europe, and other countries, because this market is so limited, it isn't a real youtube competitor.

Puiu Puiu said:

Comcast is just playing the nice guys for the moment, but i'm sure that in the future we'll see what they're capable of.(and it won't be pretty)

Nirkon said:

Either way, its not open for international use... which means most of the world (including me) doesn't really care.

However, 1 year for a buyout this big is a very short amount of time!

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

i like hulu its nice to watch some of the shows ive missed and it not cost me anything. why would they crush this i only see dollar signs waiting to happen with hulu in comcasts corner.

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

for now i don't have the choice but to be Youtube user - but it doesn't offer what i need, i hope instead of well huh crushing it, they do make some contents available to more countries. I'm craving for online video services, i don't have time to go rent DVDs/BDs, i buy the ones i really want.


Hyperian said:

FCC should've stopped the buyout. this is sad.

windmill007 said:

Oh they will crush HULU like a me...They are just a very patient slow hunter but they will get there prey...then they will open there own site up to only subscribers to cable or some crazy priced service. HULU was good was it lasted....Farewell my friend.

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I hope they can come up with a way to get more free (ad supported) tv online rather then less, but it seem inevitable that they are going to try to squeeze more money out of us.

wcbert said:

Promise anything now to have the buyout to go throught. But the promises are only good for the fiscal quarter is made. But if the business changes, ie that have to make more money to increase profits, promises do not have to be kept.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

They won't/can't really crush Hulu, unless they manage to get all of the backers and advertising to drop one of the most popular sites on the internet. Comcast may have high hopes, and a pretty inflated view of themselves, but they aren't stupid - crushing such a popular site would be a majorly bad PR move on Comcast's part.

I could see Hulu aligning with competitive network conglomerates and/or cable/internet providers that are Comcast's rivals. We will probably end up with a 2-camp video services war in the long run, which is probably just fine - there is plenty of content availabe to support more than 1 provider.

As a side note (and as a former Comcast customer for years)... Does anyone else sense an irony in Comcast acquiring the potential for huge chunks of video streaming, yet they were one of the pioneers in throttling and capping their customers' internet bandwidth? Seems sort of counter-intuitive, unless they are trying to push a tiered service structure... Ack, more ways to bilk customers out of money, perhaps? <insert ominous "dum dum DUUUUM" music here>

jjbeard926 said:

Based on their internet practices to date, I'm not sure I trust anything Comcast says. I trust Microsoft further than I trust Comcast and I don't trust Microsoft that much. This entire merger is like Safeway (or some other large chain grocery store) buying the largest fruit pie manufacturer in the world as well as the majority of the fruit farms and saying "Oh, we won't limit fruit or fruit pie supply to the competition. It will all be just the same, we just want a piece of their profits". It doesn't make much sense really. I expect that all other cable operators as well as the satellite providers will have to pay a premium for NBC/Universal content now and I expect Comcast to get even more creative with their throttling of internet content. You're handing the keys to the kingdom to the same man that wanted to tear it down. Sad day.

UglyChild said:

This is very very bad. Comcast is already trying to implement new ways to limit and control bandwidth usage by its customers, now it will give them a tighter grip and better control over its Comcast @Home customers.

The only thing i can see happening to Hulu, there will be a lot more commercials.

levar said:

interesting interview, in the end imo I'm pretty sure there will probably be some sort "subscription model". Its comcast for crying out loud.

Guest said:

Gonna miss hulu... farewell old friend :(

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