/// How to Handicap Hulu, Even Before a Sale

June 23, 2011  |  All Things Digital

Hulu is a great place to watch TV shows you missed the night before. But what if you couldn’t do that? Or what if you could do that, but only after you proved you were a cable TV customer? That’s the scenario the Los Angeles Times floats at the bottom of its Hulu-for-sale piece today: Hulu’s owners are pushing for the free service to require users to prove they are cable or satellite TV subscribers before they could gain next-day access to current shows, said two people privy to the discussions. Otherwise, they would be forced to wait eight days to catch up on programs they’ve missed, they said. The industry term for this is “authentication,” and I’ve heard a similar story this month but haven’t been able to confirm that it’s true. If it is, you can go ahead and mark Hulu’s sales price way, way down . That’s because tying Hulu to cable subscriptions is going to knock out a big chunk of the service’s viewers. Some of them will be people who don’t pay for cable and don’t have any plans to do so. And some of them will be cable TV subscribers who should be able to watch shows but can’t deal with the hassle of proving that they’re entitled. It’s theoretically possible for Hulu and the cable guys to build a seamless, pain-free authentication process

How to Handicap Hulu, Even Before a Sale

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