Big 5 Media Corps. are pissing off cable firms and DirecTV big time by letting the public watch shows for free on the internet;
Fox and NBC are Scheming together to give it to us free, get us hooked, then jack up the price.
5/11/2009 L.A. Times
...But in making a bid for the next generation of Internet- attuned viewers, Hulu's owners have strained their lucrative relationships with cable and satellite operators. Companies like Time Warner Cable Inc. and DirecTV Group Inc. pay cable networks billions of dollars each year to carry programming. Believing that they should have exclusivity because their payments support the enormous cost of producing TV shows, such companies have been pushing back against the Hulu freebies...
..."And now people are starting to wonder, do we even need the cable connections?"
The country's largest cable operators aren't waiting around to find out the answer. In recent months, the operators have taken a hard line against cable networks for funneling their shows to Hulu. Some have gone so far as to stipulate that cable networks limit the number of episodes they make available online. Others have imposed an outright ban. The strictures buy time for cable operators until they can develop their own response to Hulu....
...NBC Universal and News Corp. are considering whether to adopt a cable industry initiative called authentication, which would require users to prove they are pay TV subscribers before they can watch current shows on Hulu.
The partners also are discussing setting up a tiered system for online video, with some shows available for free -- such as prime-time network offerings -- while others would be reserved for existing cable TV subscribers.
"Everyone is coalescing around a central area -- authentication," said Tony Vinciquerra, chief of Fox's television networks. "If we can move this in the right direction, it will be something relatively seamless to the consumer, and good for business overall."