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Network exec thinks Hulu is teaching bad habits

Ben Drawbaugh

If there was any doubt as to why the content owners asked Hulu to make life hard on Boxee, these recent comments by Rainbow Media's CEO Josh Sapan should pretty much clear it up. He tells Multichannel news that putting shows up on the internet shortly after they air on TV is doing nothing other than creating "bad habits." The article goes on to explain that the reason why you won't see as much of Rainbow Media's content online is because "such actions will eventually undercut the healthy advertiser/affiliate-fee dual revenue stream that networks enjoy" -- so you should have to pay for content and you should have to watch the ads. If at this point you're yelling about the all the ad-revenue generated when people view the same content on the web, according to NBCU president of TV Networks Distribution Bridget Baker "it's a drop in the bucket compared to ad revenue on linear cable channels." The interesting twist to their perspective is although these execs don't seem to understand that people actually prefer to watch TV, on their TVs, and not on small laptop screens, they do recognize that there is no stopping this movement. So their bright idea is to change the direction of the movement in their favor. The intent of the plan is to authenticate subscribers before allowing web access. So in other words, if you don't subscribe to cable TV, then don't expect access to the content on the web -- nice plan huh?

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