PREVIOUSLY, WEDNESDAY AM: Time Warner Cable, the country’s No. 2 cable service and a second unidentified pay-TV entity are considering taking a piece of the ad-supported streaming-video service, The Wall Street Journal reports. Slower growth in the pay-TV sector has the NY-based Time Warner Cable paying more attention to its broadband operations lately. Disney, News Corp and Comcast own about a third each of the 6-year-old service, which recently topped the 4 million-subscriber mark. Other groups mulling a stake in Hulu include Yahoo and the Chernin Group, run by ex-News Corp. exec Peter Chernin.
It isn’t the kind of thing a network exec wants to admit the week before broadcasters open the upfront ad sales season. But the News Corp COO, in a quarterly call with analysts, couldn’t avoid the fact that this season’s ratings declines show “it’s not been a great year for the broadcast business overall from a creative perspective.” Carey says it’s time for networks to “discard a few habits and rules and take some shots. Hopefully next week will be the beginning of that process.” While he didn’t offer specifics, he says one possibility is to “be a bit more targeted [in programming] and invest deeper—take fewer bets and bet deeper.” Carey acknowledged that as digital video becomes more popular “there’s no question there’ll be more and more choices and people will find those choices.” But the exec says he still has faith in broadcasting — as long as it can collect revenues from subscriptions as well as ad sales. He declined to offer more insight into his recent threat to make Fox a pay TV service if the courts jeopardize the dual revenue stream model. Some analysts say that could happen if justices agree that streaming service Aereo can distribute local over-the-air signals without paying broadcasters. “If that dual revenue stream is not available, there are other paths we can pursue,” Carey says. He adds that the “most exciting” opportunity for Hulu is to focus on boosting subscriptions. Broadcasters can add “original and other unique product” and “take advantage of its leadership position in the digital space.”
Hulu said today during its upfront presentation in New York that it set a revenue record in the first quarter of this year with $695M, and that Hulu Plus subscriptions passed 4 million subscribers after doubling in 2012. The service now has almost 2500 TV series and about 57,000 hours of content. Among the talent on hand was Seth Meyers and Michael Shoemaker to promote their animated superhero series The Awesomes, one of four original series that will debut this year. Among Hulu’s four announced exclusive series is the Eva Longoria-starring animated series Mother Up!, about a disgraced former music exec who must transition to a life of suburban motherhood. Other talent working up shows are Mario Batali, Carson Daly and Jay Mohr, who is toplining the new game show Money Where Your Mouth Is. Hulu also is streaming Prospect Park’s revamped soap operas All My Children and One Life To Live, which launched yesterday and were the two most-watched TV episodes of the day. Here is Hulu’s descriptions of its new series:
EXCLUSIVE: Hulu has picked up Money Where Your Mouth Is, a new comedic game show hosted by actor-comedian Jay Mohr. Financed by Believe Entertainment Group (The LeBrons with LeBron James), Money Where Your Mouth Is, which is being announced at Hulu’s NewFront in New York today, is described as a game show for the man’s man. It will feature lifelong friends who wager their most prized possessions and go head-to-head to take the items from one another in a harrowing battle of “man wits.” Three rounds of competition will include everything from identifying movie quotes and obscure trivia to physical challenges and debating some of the greatest questions that plague mankind, the kind of knowledge every guy uses as the true measure of their manhood.
If so you wouldn’t be alone. What’s being called one of the biggest cyberattacks in the history of the Internet has impacted millions of web users and reportedly has caused slowdowns at online video services like Netflix and …
‘The Good Wife’ Off-Network Rights Sell To Amazon, Hulu, Hallmark Channel, Broadcast Syndication For Nearly $2M An Episode
In an arrangement that reflects the changing off-network options for serialized dramas, CBS’ The Good Wife has been sold in a complex multi-window deal that involves two streaming partners, Amazon and Hulu; a basic cable network, Hallmark Channel; and broadcast syndication, for what I hear is a combined license fee of nearly $2 million per episode. “This is an off-network model for a unique serialized show in today’s television ecosystem,” said Leslie Moonves, President and CEO, CBS Corp.
Under the deal, the first three seasons of The Good Wife will become available on Amazon Prime tomorrow, with the current Season 4 coming later this year. Hulu Plus will roll out previous seasons of the show in September 2013, while Hallmark Channel will begin airing The Good Wife in January 2014. A weekend broadcast syndication run is scheduled to begin in September 2014, with the series sold in 85% of the country, including the CBS O&Os, in a barter deal.
News Corp and Disney reportedly are in early talks about the future of their jointly controlled online video site Hulu. The Wall Street Journal, citing people with knowledge of the situation, said today that the two companies, …
Here’s episode 18 of our audio podcast Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman, who is just back from a week at the Consumer Electronics Show. This week he and host David Bloom discuss some of the notable news and products out of the show and what it means for media and entertainment companies. They’ll discuss whether all those giant, thin, super-high-resolution screens will sell more movies and TV; the latest initiative to entice consumers into the Ultraviolet world and whether it can help shore up the sagging sales of DVDs and Blu-Ray discs; and the departure of Hulu’s CEO and what that means for the streaming-video giant.
Kilar just posted the news on the Hulu blog. He says that he is “currently working with the Board to ensure there is ample runway to manage this transition.” Although Kilar turned Hulu into one of the Web’s most popular video destinations, he has been widely expected to leave. He has had several run-ins with its owners News Corp, Disney, and Comcast, who didn’t share his passion to take Hulu public or sell it. Last year he had to dampen speculation that he might be considered for the top job at Yahoo before the board picked former Google exec Marissa Mayer to be CEO. In August, Variety disclosed an internal strategy memo that included on the agenda: “Outline transition plan for new CEO. Discuss potential candidates and process.” The path for Kilar’s departure was paved in October when the company paid Providence Equity $200M for its 10% stake. That also enabled Kilar to sell his shares back to the company, reportedly for $40M.
Last month, Kilar said on the company blog that Hulu would end 2012 with about $695M in revenue, up 65% vs 2011. Its paid streaming service, Hulu Plus, has more than 3M subscribers, double the number from the previous year. Kilar also said that Hulu invested more than $500M for content in 2012 and also served more than 1,000 advertisers during the year, a 28% increase over 2011. “Since the launch of Hulu in October 2007, we have generated over $1 billion for our content partners,” Kilar noted. Disney CEO Bob Iger calls Kilar “an integral part of the Hulu story,” adding that he’s confident in its executives’ “ability to drive Hulu forward from here.”
Here’s what Kilar said today:
Yes, the agreement brings CBS — the lone major network that doesn’t own a piece of Hulu — a little closer to the streaming enterprise. But not by much. The shows covered by the new deal come from CBS’ vault; they aren’t next day showings of current hits. Series being offered include Medium and CSI: Miami and golden oldies such as Star Trek, I Love Lucy and The Twilight Zone. Also, most of the shows are just being made available to people who subscribe to Hulu Plus, not to the free, ad-supported site. There’ll be some exceptions, but they’ll be announced later. Also, clips from Entertainment Tonight will be available on the free and paid sites beginning on the day they’re broadcast. This isn’t the first time that CBS has worked with Hulu: It provides programming for Hulu’s paid service in Japan, and CW — which is half-owned by CBS — has a deal with the service.
Here’s the release:
The social justice media organization, Brave New Films, has launched a new Hulu channel featuring the investigative films of director Robert Greenwald. With groundbreaking works such as “Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price,” “Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers,” and “Koch Brothers Exposed,” Brave New Films delivers politically-themed content to Hulu just in time for the election year debates.