Comedy Central’s ‘The Daily Show’ and ‘The Colbert Report’ leaving Hulu

0
McClatchy-Tribune News Service | Boulder Weekly

LOS ANGELES
— Hulu’s losing two of its biggest attractions.

In a bid to better capitalize on the popularity of
its shows, Comedy Central has decided to no longer provide episodes of
“The Daily Show,” and “The Colbert Report” to the video Web site and
keep them on the sites they own.

Hulu said Tuesday negotiations with Comedy Central
broke down. The two companies could not agree on a revenue split for
advertising generated by the shows, according to a person familiar with
the situation.

While Hulu has lots of broadcast content on its site,
getting cable shows has proven to be a stickier proposition. That’s
because cable networks such as Comedy Central get hundreds of millions
of dollars from cable and satellite distributors. Those guys don’t like
it when the shows they pay good money are offered elsewhere for free.

In addition, Comedy Central is owned by Viacom Inc., which competes
with owners of Hulu. The Web site is owned by News Corp., NBC Universal, Walt Disney Co. and Providence
Equity Partners.

“In the past 21 months, we’ve had very strong results
for both Hulu and Comedy Central, in terms of the views and revenue
we’ve generated, thanks to a couple of key trends. First, more and more
of our viewers have voted with their time by making these shows a
regular part of their day. And second, we’ve driven steadily increasing
revenue per view as advertisers voted with their budgets to take
advantage of innovative ad formats and very strong advertising
effectiveness,” Andy Forssell, Hulu senior vice
president for content and distribution, wrote in a Web post entitled
“Fond Farewell.”

“After a series of discussions with the team at
Comedy Central, though, we ultimately were unable to secure the rights
to extend these shows for a much longer period of time,” Forssell said.
Episodes of the shows have been a key draw for the site since June
2008
.

Forsell said they would no longer be available on
Hulu after March 9 at midnight.

Episodes of Stewart’s show and Colbert’s show will
continue be available on Viacom
owned sites, thedailyshow.com and colbertnation.com.

(c) 2010, Los Angeles Times.

Visit the Los Angeles Times on the Internet at http://www.latimes.com/

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information
Services.