Seidenberg shrugs off Hulu's potential

Online TV player Hulu may have led the charge, along with other factors, that inspired the traditional TV sector to dream up TV Everywhere, but Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg said at a CNBC event last week that the Hulu effect will be short-lived. Broadcasting & Cable reports on his comments, which included the forecast that Hulu "won't matter" a couple years down the road, presumably because TV Everywhere and other ways in which service providers can control the living room and mobile TV experience will have taken hold by then--though he didn't say that last part.

There has been much talk about Hulu potentially becoming a fee-based service, though it is hard to know what direction it will really take until Comcast, General Electric and Vivendi come to an agreement on Comcast's joint venture with NBC Universal, Hulu's owner. There has been speculation that the deal could lead to an eventual shutdown or radical re-imagining of Hulu, though that also could depend on how quickly, how broadly and how effectively service providers can roll out the TV Everywhere model.

Meanwhile, ZDNet has a first-hand looks at some of the new Roku gear and video channels. Roku is another company that challenges the existing pay TV model, and while you can argue that rogues like Hulu and Roku are headed for a beating when the big service providers start to take them on in a more focused way, they have been pretty quick to find a foothold in the popular imagination that may be stronger than the service providers believe.

In any case, it might be a bad idea to shrug off the companies who came up with the ideas that influenced the direction in which your own company is obviously headed.

For more:
- Broadcasting & Cable has this story
- ZDNet has this blog post

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