New Hulu Deal Could Delay the Site’s Access to Shows

Media companies want to sell programs to other streaming services

Hulu is close to renewing its deal to offer TV shows from its media company owners—which include Disney, News Corp., and Comcast’s NBCU—but the new terms could result in the delayed availability of certain content on Hulu’s site, said inside sources.

The deal would uphold Hulu’s right to stream new episodes at the same time that the shows’ owners air them on their own sites. Hulu currently has access to most programming the night after it airs on TV. But under certain conditions of the new deal, media companies would be allowed to delay Hulu's access to their shows for an extra three to seven days, according to varying reports.

The delay could help Hulu’s owners sell their shows to outside cable and satellite companies that are planning video streaming services. The ability to offer shows several days before they are available for free on Hulu would aid cable and satellite in their war against cord-cutting, where consumers ditch their TV subscriptions knowing that they can grab much of the same content on Hulu immediately after it airs. Being forced to wait an extra week to see their favorite shows might change their minds.

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