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Rumor: Hulu To Require Paid TV Subscription Soon

| 30 Apr 2012 19:30
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Watching videos online at Hulu might require a paid TV subscription.

I cut the cord months ago. Cancelling my cable subscription has saved me hundreds of dollars paying for content that I did not watch. Using my Xbox 360, I am able to watch the TV and movies I do want to watch (like Sherlock and old TNG episodes) through Netflix and Hulu, although I do sometimes watch shows via Hulu on my desktop computer. According to anonymous sources close to the negotiations, NBC-Universal - owners of Hulu - are considering checking for a valid subscription to cable or satellite service before allowing anyone to watch "free" video on Hulu.

The push to require this authentication is driven by cable companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable to make TV subscriptions more attractive - and to wring money from "cord-cutters" like me. What seems odd, is that Hulu reportedly made $420 million in ad revenue last year, and is poised to make more in 2012 as March saw 31 million people watch videos on Hulu.com.

If the authentication goes through, those people would be forced to pay money to watch content with advertising embedded. Those of us who watch Hulu Plus through Xbox 360 pay for the convenience of watching through a device, and the quick minute-long advertising breaks haven't annoyed me too much.

What's unclear, at least to me, is whether paying the $7.99 monthly fee for Hulu Plus would be affected by this switch to authentication. If so, I will be upset. Positively vexed.

Source: NY Post

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