Hulu has access to a lot of NBC content, but it doesn't necessarily have access to a lot of the advertising, especially since NBC has "begun pulling back on the maximum allowable amount of ad inventory within its shows on Hulu," according to a report in MediaWeek. This move isn't restricted to the NBC broadcast network--hell, it's not even restricted to NBC since ABC and FOX are at it as well--but includes cable networks like USA and Bravo.
Sources told the magazine the networks can pull back 100 percent of ad inventory, and NBC is doing so with uber-popular 30 Rock and The Office. Other shows can see as much as an 85 percent pullback.
While there are mixed reactions as to how much this will hurt Hulu, if at all, there are surface concerns that the site might become a repository for older content and that the good stuff will be relegated to Hulu Plus. Then, of course, there are the lingering questions about what will happen when Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), a company not particularly known for sharing, gets its mitts on NBC Universal.
Hulu, said Strategy Analytics analyst Jia Wu in the MediaWeek piece, is "a good business, just not as good as the networks expected."
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