Hulu Says Tata To Tv.com
Hulu, the video website that is jointly owned by NBC and Fox but has licensing deals with other major online video outlets, has suddenly yanked its programs from TV.com, the video website that CBS took over when it acquired CNET last year, and asked that the Boxee website remove its links to Hulu. The action came at a time when TV.com was showing solid -- even spectacular -- growth. Since it began offering full-length shows last December, it has reported a 263-percent increase in unique viewers and a 4,435-percent increase in viewed minutes. Before word of the Hulu action was reported late Wednesday, CBS chief Les Moonves said during a conference call with analysts that TV.com is "clearly going to be a very, very big player in what is clearly a fast-growing category." Neither side would comment on the reasons for the schism. Hulu said in a statement that it "has contractual rights with regards to our relationship with TV.com and we are exercising those rights. ... We will not disclose our discussions." TV.com declined to discuss the matter. As for Boxee, Hulu posted a notice from CEO Jason Kilar saying, "Our content providers requested that we turn off access to our content via the Boxee product, and we are respecting their wishes." He did not identify the content providers. Several websites inferred from the action that the providers were actually Hulu's owners, NBC and Fox, who in turn were being pressured by cable providers and cable networks who see the spread of video on the web as a threat.