Zucker on TV on the Web: 'Can we go back to the Keith Olbermann question?'

When outgoing NBCU chief Jeff Zucker was asked about the controversial moves his, and other networks have made the last few years of putting TV programming on the Web, therefore potentially hurting the syndication market, Zucker joked, “Can we go back to the Keith Olbermann question?”

Speaking before a roomful of program buyers, sellers and producers at the annual NATPE gathering in Miami Beach, Zucker stood up for NBCU’s partnership in video platform Hulu. “I’m incredibly proud of what Hulu has done,” said Zucker. (With Comcast gaining majority control of NBCU this Friday, the company’s management stake in Hulu will go away.)

As for the Olbermann joke, Zucker was referencing the first question he’d gotten during the Q&A about the MSNBC host’s abrupt departure from the network Friday night — a question he could not comment on.

“Online is still a better experience for us than the DVR. We can control the ad inventory and the ad load,” said Zucker. “The consumer has made it clear that they want to enjoy it this way. If we don’t listen to the consumer, piracy will take over as we saw happen in the music industry.”

Zucker also reiterated his support of the TV Everywhere concept, a favorite of Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes. And he predicted mobile will be the go-to place for growth in program viewing the near term.