Hollywood producer lambasts Hulu for rumored $2 billion IPO bid

Not only is Wall Street seemingly underwhelmed by Hulu's rumored $2 billion IPO, at least one top Hollywood producer is more than a little aggravated that the catch-up video website could haul in a boatload of cash by going public, and not have to share a drop of it with the content provides upon which it's based.

"Some estimate Hulu IPO could bring in $2 billion. What do the content providers get? Zero. What is Hulu without content? An empty jukebox," creator of "Modern Family" Steven Levitan tweeted. Levitan had more vitriol to spill, aiming his ire at the Nelsen's TV rating system for not including mobile devices in how TV shows are rated.

He's not alone in Hollywood, which has been struggling with how actors, writers and studios can get their fair share of revenue from content that increasingly is appearing on iPads, smartphones and on the Internet.

The producer, who also created the sitcom "Just Shoot Me," received support from "Bones" creator Hart Hanson, who, according to the NY Post tweeted he'd like to find a step ladder to "kiss [Levitan] on the lips."

The New York Times this week reported that Hulu executives have been talking with investment banks about a possible IPO as early as this fall. The three-year-old company, owned by NBC Universal, Disney and News Corp., has gained wide acceptance by online audiences looking to catch up on their favorite shows like "Glee" and, ironically, "Modern Family." It's regularly been rated as one of the Top 10 most visited online video websites by comScore, and in July scored the highest number of video ad impressions at 783 million. Hulu's 28.5 million unique viewers averaged 158 minutes on the site last month.

The company said it recorded $100 million in advertising profits in the first half of the year and expected to double that by year's end. It also is poised to launch a $9.99 subscription service, called Hulu Plus, that will give subscribers more, and fresher, content.

For more:
- see this Post article

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