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-   -   Hulu for sale and it's future in doubt. Another blow to streaming? (http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56201)

sunray 06-23-2011 05:21 AM

Hulu for sale and it's future in doubt. Another blow to streaming?
 
According to Deadline Hollywood, a TV & Movie web site that concentrates on the business side of Hollywood (It's not a gossip site) Hulu is for sale. Nikki Finke the founder and head of the site has very good sources and a very good track record on these things. The article suggests that Hule may be shut down or drastically changed.

Here's the link http://www.deadline.com/2011/06/hulu...w/#more-142478

lfilomeno 06-23-2011 06:46 AM

Report: Hulu Up For Sale
 
Well, our Beloved SageTV has been sold adn it has been a hard to swallow pill for us end user. So now, HULU is up for Sale! Read on as many of us use the HULU plugin (I do)!
Full Story at: http://www.homemediamagazine.com/hul...for-sale-24290

* merged *

wayner 06-23-2011 10:13 AM

Or more likely this is a case of someone trying to cash in on Internet Bubble 2.0. (See current stock prices of NFLX and LNKD and upcoming IPO of Facebook)

There is a story on Bloomberg that Hulu may sell at as much of 50 times earnings. Media companies like Disney and News Corp (two of the current ownders of Hulu) trade at around 15 times earnings - being able to sell something at three times the multiple is very accretive to your bottom line. This would make Hulu worth about $2 Billion (Source http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0...-real-m-a.html)

Companies like Amazon, Yahoo, Microsoft, Google, etc may be very interested in owning Hulu - assuming that it continues to have the ability to get online streaming rights to media content.

pjpjpjpj 06-23-2011 10:52 AM

Maybe Google will buy hulu and merge it in as a native part of the next GoogleTV box, along with SageTV's DVR capabilities. :D

Regardless of what the next GoogleTV iteration is, it would be great if it worked as an extender with the current SageTV. They wouldn't even have to make a big deal publicly about that aspect - just drop a note on this board saying "by the way, if you still have SageTV, this new box will work as an extender for it"....
(one can wish, can't one?)

valnar 06-23-2011 12:11 PM

Bandwidth is not free, and may become more and more tiered in the future. Despite what Netflix thinks, I don't believe streaming over the Internet will become the standard, not if our cable & DSL vendors have anything to say about it. I personally hope Netflix, Hulu and the like fall flat on their face. Maybe then we can get back to quality oriented video instead of quantity.

wayner 06-23-2011 01:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by valnar (Post 504954)
Bandwidth is not free, and may become more and more tiered in the future. Despite what Netflix thinks, I don't believe streaming over the Internet will become the standard, not if our cable & DSL vendors have anything to say about it.

I don't know - I think bandwidth will become cheaper and higher speeds, like 100 Mbps, will become prevalent meaning that there is no reason to compromise quality. There may be some caps but I think they will be set at a level of several hundred GB/month so as to not be constraining unless you are really watching several HD streams for 12+ hours per day.

I really think that we are going to see the elimination of the "middlemen" in the distribution of video content. By middlemen I mean TV networks and cable/satellite services.

Sports is one example, and this has already started to happen as some sports teams own TV networks or vice-versa. In the future I am guessing that you will be able to subscribe to online streaming to all games of your favourite baseball/football/soccer/hockey/basketball team. You will pay $100/yr, or something like that, and get everything you want on any device you want - PC, connected TV, smartphone, tablet, etc.

So in the future the original creators of content will be able to sell directly to the end consumer - perhaps through a "consolidating" service like iTunes.

darcilicious 06-23-2011 01:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by valnar (Post 504954)
Despite what Netflix thinks, I don't believe streaming over the Internet will become the standard, not if our cable & DSL vendors have anything to say about it.

Why should they (cable/dsl vendors)? Why should I be tied to their services (at all) for content?

Quote:

I personally hope Netflix, Hulu and the like fall flat on their face. Maybe then we can get back to quality oriented video instead of quantity.
Every try HDX selections from VUDU?

(And if you have anything but FiOS, most of your HD is (more) compressed before it ever gets to you.)

valnar 06-23-2011 02:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by darcilicious (Post 504990)
Why should they (cable/dsl vendors)? Why should I be tied to their services (at all) for content?

Not for content, for bandwidth. If you aren't going to watch their content, you'll pay for their bandwidth.

david1234 06-23-2011 02:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by darcilicious (Post 504990)
Why should I be tied to their services (at all) for content?

You shouldn't be tied to their services at all, but the BIG ISPs are doing all they can to keep themselves from being providers of commoditized dumb-pipes. Bandwidth caps don't apply to their own offerings like voip and ip tv which compete with online-only services like Netflix and Vonage. I don't see how it's anything but an abuse of monopoly they have on the wires/fiber, in order to keep themselves as the only "unlimitted" provider of the high markup services.

As a consumer I would much prefer that they just give me a fat pipe and let me go where I want to for content. I don't need my ISP for anything other than providing me an IP address.

brainbone 06-23-2011 02:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by david1234 (Post 504996)
the BIG ISPs are doing all they can to keep themselves from being providers of commoditized dumb-pipes.

"pipes" that have often been subsidized by us, the tax payers.

Yeah, the abuse of their monopoly position angers me, but I still keep voting "screw me!" every time I pay my bill, while an apparent majority of my fellow taxpayers seem to have been duped by those spouting off that any additional regulation, or enforcement of existing regulation, is going to "kill jobs", and insist on voting these numb-skulls into office.

valnar 06-23-2011 03:39 PM

I love unlimited bandwidth as much as the next guy, but I don't understand the hostility towards providers that want to make sure their circuits don't get overloaded. We pay for electricity and water based on consumption. Why not bandwidth?

Like I said, I would love it unlimited too, but I can't understand how people call it unfair. It's not. If you knew anything about routers, switches and fiber, you'd understand it's not an arbitrary number they can just crank up on demand. There are real costs.

brainbone 06-23-2011 03:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by valnar (Post 505002)
I love unlimited bandwidth as much as the next guy, but I don't understand the hostility towards providers that want to make sure their circuits don't get overloaded.

It's not my fault they haven't re-invested in their network infrastructure. Not like they don't have the capital available to do it. Instead, many ISPs are just waiting on more subsidies.

pjpjpjpj 06-23-2011 04:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wayner (Post 504989)
Sports is one example, and this has already started to happen as some sports teams own TV networks or vice-versa. In the future I am guessing that you will be able to subscribe to online streaming to all games of your favourite baseball/football/soccer/hockey/basketball team. You will pay $100/yr, or something like that, and get everything you want on any device you want - PC, connected TV, smartphone, tablet, etc.

As I posted elsewhere... you might want to call CBS and ESPN and ask them what they think about that. Because both of them signed multi-billion dollar contracts to broadcast SEC Football alone. And that doesn't even count ESPNs contracts with MLB, NFL, etc. And then there's CBS/Turner's recent (just last year) contract for March Madness. Think those guys are just going to go away and let all the games be shown by individual schools' networks? And I think you overestimate how many of these networks are being created and/or are really sustainable. Major/huge cities can pull it off (NYC, Boston, LA, etc.), and the biggest NCAA schools (Texas and BYU, I believe have network deals), but you would effectively kill off 90% of colleges, who don't have enough followers to maintain a "network", not to mention most small-market professional teams, ALL of whom (college and pro) rely on TV dollars to survive.

wayner 06-23-2011 04:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by valnar (Post 505002)
I love unlimited bandwidth as much as the next guy, but I don't understand the hostility towards providers that want to make sure their circuits don't get overloaded. We pay for electricity and water based on consumption. Why not bandwidth?

I don't have a problem with paying for my consumption but the pricing models used currently are set up to optimize revenue for the ISPs.

This has been a HUGE issue in Canada over the last few months that required some government intervention.

So let's price broadband like water. You pay a fixed monthly cost of $20/month - that cost should be the same whether you have a skinny pipe (a low max bitrate of say 5Mbps) or a fat pipe (high max bitrate - say 100Mbps). Then you would pay something like $0.05/GB of usage - even that is likely an extremely large markup for bandwidth as it likely costs just a few cents per GB. Then if you used 500GB in a month your ISP cost would be $45 - $20 in fixed costs plus $25 in bandwidth. That is fair for everyone. But that is not how the ISPs want to do it - they want to price like wireless where you pay a fixed rate for a certain amount, say 250GB/month and then you get screwed in overage fees.

FYI - I have a premium cable internet connection from Rogers Cable here in Canada. I pay $100/month (which is $103 in USD) for 50Mbps down, 2Mbps up with a monthly cap of 175 GB with overage charges of $0.50 per GB. I haven't yet gone over the 175GB but I have come close.

The most common service here is a 15/1 speed with a monthly cap of 80GB and overage charges of $1.50/GB. Highway robbery.

david1234 06-23-2011 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by valnar (Post 505002)
Like I said, I would love it unlimited too, but I can't understand how people call it unfair. It's not. If you knew anything about routers, switches and fiber, you'd understand it's not an arbitrary number they can just crank up on demand. There are real costs.

It's not whether the bandwidth caps and throttling are reasonable or not (they usually aren't). It's the way that the ISPs apply the caps to a service like netflix, but not to they're own on-demand IPTV services, that is unfair.

Both services use the same bandwidth, and impact the network in exactly the same way, but the ISPs use their ownership of the wires to hamper the competing service. It's not supposed to be legal to use a monopoly (duopoly in most markets is effectively a monopoly) in one market (the bandwidth) to harm competitors in another (the IPTV service).

wayner 06-23-2011 04:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pjpjpjpj (Post 505005)
As I posted elsewhere... you might want to call CBS and ESPN and ask them what they think about that. Because both of them signed multi-billion dollar contracts to broadcast SEC Football alone. And that doesn't even count ESPNs contracts with MLB, NFL, etc. And then there's CBS/Turner's recent (just last year) contract for March Madness. Think those guys are just going to go away and let all the games be shown by individual schools' networks? And I think you overestimate how many of these networks are being created and/or are really sustainable. Major/huge cities can pull it off (NYC, Boston, LA, etc.), and the biggest NCAA schools (Texas and BYU, I believe have network deals), but you would effectively kill off 90% of colleges, who don't have enough followers to maintain a "network", not to mention most small-market professional teams, ALL of whom (college and pro) rely on TV dollars to survive.

First off, taking TV revenue out of college sports is probably a great idea since these are not supposed to be big businesses. They should not be minor leagues for the NFL and NBA. They should be in the business of educating young people, not producing linebackers or point guards, but that is a different debate.

There will still be network deals because sports is, IMHO, really the only compelling reason to subscribe to cable/sat. Everything else like movies, TV shows, etc can be attained for free OTA or from Netlfix, Hulu, iTunes or other less legal methods. This explains why TV/cable companies are starting to buy up sports franchises (Comcast owns the Flyers and 76ers, Rogers cable owns the Toronto Blue Jays) or sports teams are starting their own networks (YES network, LeafsTV, Raptors NBATV, etc.) because they realize this. But much of the content that is shown on regional cable will likely gravitate to internet delivery. This will also make it easier for teams to create global revenue streams for their fanbases - less of an issue for North American based teams but huge for soccer teams like Man U or Barcelona that may have hundreds of millions of fans spread across the globe that are willing to shell out to see the content.

You seem to be implying that you like the current situation where big schools/teams subsidize the small - that is up to the individual leagues to decide how they want to share their revenue. But to me it smacks of the hated "bundling" of cable TV channels where you have to subscribe to a whole whack of channels that you don't watch to get one that you like. I abhor that practice and I think that it is a terrible business practice that leads to an inefficient allocation of capital in the entertainment industry.

valnar 06-23-2011 04:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by david1234 (Post 505007)
It's not whether the bandwidth caps and throttling are reasonable or not (they usually aren't). It's the way that the ISPs apply the caps to a service like netflix, but not to they're own on-demand IPTV services, that is unfair.

Nope.

Not everyone who subscribes to cableTV has broadband service with them. Same with VoIP. Sorry, but there is nothing wrong with them guaranteeing their TV stations and VoIP first over broadband. Its expected, based on historical preferences, that I can leave my TV on 24/7 and have it work.

What you are proposing (unlimited bandwidth) would not make them increase the broadband to infinity. It would probably decrease standard TV services from infinity to tiered. If you want to blame anyone, blame Netflix & Hulu for coming out with a product that saturates the resources of another company without fair compensation. That is unfair.

Now, if you want to go off on them about bundling 200 channels of crap into the 10 you care about, I'm with you. But a business is allowed to make money.

brainbone 06-23-2011 04:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by valnar (Post 505009)
But a business is allowed to make money.

Are you saying that they're not making money, even while servicing their customer with Hulu/Netflix feeds?

valnar 06-23-2011 04:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brainbone (Post 505010)
Are you saying that they're not making money, even while servicing their customer with Hulu/Netflix feeds?

I don't know. Do you?

I do know that if they have to increase the bandwidth in their infrastructure, AND if their neighboring ISP's all have to do the same, that does indeed cost money.

Consumer broadband is not guaranteed bandwidth. It can be oversubsribed 25:1 is some places. Enterprise bandwidth like for DS1, DS3 OC3/12, etc is usually much less, like 2:1 or 4:1 between equivalent Enterprises. Those circuits can also cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. I manage several myself. If Netflix and Hulu, should they get their wishes, move everyone to a streaming service instead of broadcast TV, that cuts deeply into the (non)SLA's expected by broadband providers to give their consumers. Broadband companies do not want everyone on the block streaming Netflix at the same time. No, they cannot handle that. A business doing that constantly (VPN, FTP, Email, Backups, etc) get that service and it costs 10x as much.

david1234 06-23-2011 04:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by valnar (Post 505009)
If you want to blame anyone, blame Netflix & Hulu for coming out with a product that saturates the resources of another company without fair compensation. That is unfair.

Except this isn't how the internet works. I pay my ISP for access to bandwidth. Netflix pays their ISP for access to bandwidth. The ISPs get together and agree to some sort of peering arrangement.

The bottom line is that what I pay my ISP compensates them for all of the bandwidth I use. It doesn't matter if I'm watching video, sending email or whatever. What the ISPs are trying to do is double dip; they want to charge me a fee to use their bandwidth, and they want to charge netflix to use the same bandwidth.

If what I as a customer pay for bandwidth doesn't cover the costs (it does), then they need to charge their customers more. If the customer's requests for content swamp the network (they don't) then they need to build out more bandwidth. If anything, netflix/hulu/youtube make the ISPs broadband offerings more valuable. Without those services, how many people really have a need for anything more than 56K?

Either way, if we're going to apply caps, they should be applied to the ISPs services just like they would be applied to an outside service provider. Anything else is discriminatory and violates net neutrality (although that's really a gutted ideal now anyway).


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