Say Goodbye To Hulu As You Know It
CBS Corp. (NYSE:CBS) announced Tuesday it is looking into potential content deals with Hulu, a video streaming joint venture between Disney (NYSE:DIS), News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS), and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA). The entertainment company’s new-found interest stems from Hulu’s plan to begin requiring users to prove they have a pay-TV subscription before allowing them access to free online content.
CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves has said his company will look at Hulu under the authentication model. However, he also emphasized that CBS was very pleased with the company’s digital strategy so far without Hulu. Moonves hasn’t always been a fan of Hulu, and has been known in the past to question the wisdom of fellow media companies’ ownership stake in and licensing deals with the video streaming company.
According to Moonves, CBS is doing extremely well in its non-exclusive deals with Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). The company is also seeing good numbers on its CBS.com site, for which company keeps 100 percent of ad profits. But CBS plans to engage in talks with Hulu when their authentication-focused platform is launched. Regardless of any partnership between the two companies, CBS is still very happy with its own strategy. Moonves said that the CW network is currently doing business with Hulu Plus.
Moonves has been eying just about every company that offers a digital service, which likely will increase the number of competitors for its current partners. CBS has engaged in talks with Intel (NASDAQ:INTL) and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA). It is no secret that Intel has been considering the launch of an Internet-based TV service and has held talks with media companies about potential licensing deals. Meanwhile, Comcast launched Streampix — a video streaming service — earlier this year that is available only to cable subscribers. Streampix focuses on a space that Netflix and Hulu Plus typically play in.
CBS management has announced deals with Netflix and Amazon and said the company plans to extend a steaming deal next year. Moonves also told analysts that CBS has been experimenting with online-only series. The business model has yet to be perfected, but it is currently in the works.