Netflix's deal with Disney for hundreds of catalog and current episodes for its streaming service is putting pressure on rival Hulu to make some changes of its own-or risk slipping into irrelevance, according to a published report.
The New York Post today is saying industry insiders were surprised by Netflix's estimated $200 million blockbuster deal this week that gave it digital rights to Disney and ABC content, some available just 15 days after airing. Netflix picked up every episode of Lost and Ugly Betty, but also picked up in-season episodes from its cable channels, ABC Family and Disney Channel.
The addition to Netflix's content library-along with the string of other deals it's made in recent weeks-will force Hulu to either beef up its own content store, or drop the Hulu Plus subscription service and fight it out as a free offering.
"Hulu has to pick its poison," one source said. "It really makes it hard if the Hulu partners are going to license their content like this."
Disney, which owns ABC and ESPN, is one of three co-owners of Hulu, along with NBC Universal and News Corp.
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