Granted, TV service providers make money from providing content to customers, so some of that should go back to the creators. That’s how the argument goes, at least. Never mind that the content is built around selling ad space and more viewers equals more money from advertisers.
FOX made headlines recently for demanding more money from Cablevision and Dish Network in order for those two service providers to rebroadcast what’s normally available over the air for free. CNN reports that “Cablevision has said the company is paying more than $70 million annually for Fox programming, and that Fox wants to bump it to $150 million.”
Now everyone’s up in arms about streaming TV sites. Dish doesn’t like that Hulu offers new episodes the day after they air. Why subscribe to Dish Network if you can watch everything online the next day for free?
Dish should also be irate at over-the-air broadcasts—even more so than Hulu. With Hulu, you have to wait until the next day. With an antenna, you can see it all as it happens.
And surely the content creators can’t be happy about this potential loss of revenue. Dish needs subscribers so it can pay for content. Someone should demand payment from Hulu!
The problem is that Hulu is owned by ABC, NBC, and FOX. They can’t charge themselves for showing their own content online. Someone must pay!
The rule is that you can watch Hulu if you’re sitting at your desk, but if you’re sitting on a couch and your TV has a built-in web browser that displays Hulu.com exactly the same as your computer’s web browser, that’s not okay. Same goes for ABC.com and TV.com, which is owned by CBS.
Now here comes Comcast throwing a curveball at everyone with its XfinityTV.com site. It’s like Hulu, but only Comcast subscribers have access to it. This system probably makes content creators the most happy. They get to charge Comcast to retransmit content twice—once through the cable boxes and again over the internet. And we wonder why cable is so expensive.