Viacom to Hulu: "We're going to take our ball and go home!"

Viacom wants to “reinforce the pay TV ecosystem.”

I know a lot of Daily Show fans here stopped watching after Stewart left, but I continued to watch and have enjoyed Noah’s show for what it is. I always watched on Hulu. Comedy Central says, “Don’t worry! You can still watch on the app!” I tried the app a few years ago and it sucked. It may have gotten better, but it seems that you have to sign in with your cable provider (I ain’t got one). The Comedy Central FAQ says, “You don’t need a TV provider to watch the latest full episodes of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah or @midnight with Chris Hardwick on your computer or on the Comedy Central app.” I’m not sure if “latest full episodes” mean the one most recent episode only, or if they remain available for a week or so.

Seems Hulu still has back episodes, just not new episodes.
The linked Variety article and other articles I’ve seen say that there are some specific shows that Viacom will continue to license to Hulu. I also use Hulu for Drunk History, Another Period, and Broad City. All three of those are currently in between seasons, so I do not know if their current presence on Hulu is simply due to the fact that they are back episodes or if new episodes will be available once the new seasons start (Variety does list “Broad City” as one of the handful that will stay with Hulu, back episodes of Another Period seem to have already disappeared).

Although it seems this is more Viacom’s choice rather than Hulu’s, I’m going to have to reevaluate my Hulu subscription since there is only a little bit of content that I use Hulu for beyond the Comedy Central programs.

Licensing shows to Hulu is even more chaotic than licensing material to Netflix. Things come and go in unpredictable ways - such as the CW shows being there until this season, when CBS tried to pull their material behind a paywall, then quietly put the CW material back on streaming… on their own app, which is perhaps the best designed one I’ve seen.

So anything can happen with any show. It’s not guaranteed to be there just because it was last week. Everyone is scrambling around trying to monetize/max revenue their material.

I really get a kick out of the “cable locked” channels. For the most part, they’re just window dressing and a foot in the door, useless because only a tiny fraction of viewers are going to watch the streaming option when they already have the cable channel.

You do know that Hulu is about to step into the streaming-cable biz, right? This summer, and projections are that they’re going to bury Sling and DirecTV with a far better lineup. (Then, of course, Comcast is right on their heels with their own cable-stream option…)