Will You Abandon Hulu if They Force a Cable Contract?

Will You Abandon Hulu if They Force a Cable Contract?

One of the great tools if you are looking to ‘cut the cord’ and lose your Cable or Satellite TV contract is Hulu. For $7.99 a month you get access to loads of great shows on a 24-hour delay. My family loves Revenge, for instance, but seldom wants to be up until 11PM in order to watch it. Other shows such as Castle or Person of Interest just never seem to work with our schedule. So we depend on Hulu+ on our Roku every week to keep us up to date.

For my family Hulu+ is a convenience. You see, we have and use our cable subscription regularly. We don’t rely on Hulu as our main source for television. But for those who don’t want a cable subscription Hulu has been a great way to dump cable but still see most shows.  Has… As in possibly past tense since a report last week from the New York Post and noted elsewhere challenges that.

The ‘Cut the Cord’ approach to television viewing typically refers to dumping cable and depending upon streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime for movies and TV series and Hulu+ for current TV shows. The theory is that – particularly if you have already dropped the landline phone service – you can save considerable money in the process. You see only what you want and get rid of the pricey cable subscription in the process.

For reference of how Hulu and cable are related, just note that Hulu – which currently has more than 31 subscribers – was created as a partnership between NBC (32%), FOX(31%) and Disney-ABC (27%), with equity partners holding 10%. When Comcast bought NBC-Universal many were concerned about the cable giant using that power to throttle user options – including involvement with strategic decisions about Hulu. In fact, the government made NOT doing so a stipulation of approval, but we are already seeing Senator Al Franken ask questions about other areas of potential conflict of interest for Comcast, and these allegations of using Hulu to shore up cable subscriptions bring further scrutiny about whether or not Comcast is respecting the terms of their NBC purchase.

So now what we are hearing is that Hulu will start requiring ‘authentication’. Or, in other words, they will require you to prove you are a cable (or presumably satellite) subscriber before you can use the Hulu+ service that you are paying for separately. I use the Time Warner Cable app which requires authentication – but that makes sense since I am watching cable channels on my iPad. But this is very different – this is a set of content holders working with one owned by a major Cable provider to try to stave off people cutting the cord while simultaneously making them pay for content.

What do you think? Have you been trying to cut the cord? Will this keep you from using Hulu – or cause you to drop them if they start requiring a cable subscription?

Source: Death and Taxes

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About the Author

Michael Anderson
I have loved technology for as long as I can remember - and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life - I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a 'Laptop First' person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs ... and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies ... but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!

9 Comments on "Will You Abandon Hulu if They Force a Cable Contract?"

  1. Put simply, no cable company will ever receive money from me again.  I have not had cable for over a year and will never make that investment, nor will I relent if a service like Hulu+ or Netflix or anyone require me to have cable to use their service. 

    You require me to have cable?  I stop using your service.  

  2. Put simply, no cable company will ever receive money from me again.  I have not had cable for over a year and will never make that investment, nor will I relent if a service like Hulu+ or Netflix or anyone require me to have cable to use their service. 

    You require me to have cable?  I stop using your service.  

  3. I definitely have mixed feelings.  I use the Xfinity app to access cable channels (and premium content) as well, but I also have Hulu Plus and Netflix services.  I primarily rely on Hulu as a “time shifting” mechanism allowing me to watch shows when I want.  If I am required to hold and pay for a cable subscription, then why should I also pay for HuluPlus?  It is not worth $7.99 a month if it is ONLY another front end for my cable (plus some “old” shows).  If that’s the case, I can always use the existing cable app.  If it’s not that, then what is the value add?  The old shows?  I should pay $7.99 per month for that?  Not so fine.

  4. I’ve only use the free side of Hulu via internet, plus I have Amazon Prime.

    If Hulu ever does away with the free service, I’ll go back to watching shows at the respective websites at ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and so forth.

    I do love the Hulu queue, so it would be a pain to go back, but I don’t intend to start paying for any service while still putting up with ads. That includes cable, Hulu+, Sirius/XM or whatever. If I’m going to pay a recurring subscription for access, then it better be ad-free. There are too many other options out there.

    Amazon Prime, which doesn’t show ads yet, might be the only exception if they ever started showing ads. I buy enough from Amazon to justify the free two-day shipping, so I view the free TV, movies and Kindle books that come with Prime as a perk.

  5. I’m with Chris; I’ll ditch them in a heartbeat.  We haven’t had cable or satellite at my house in quite a while, and I don’t appreciate that some cable company wants to fix it’s problem with hemorrhaging customers by *limiting* choices.  No sir.  You do that, and you’ll lose the 8 bucks you get from me and get nothing at all.

  6. I use the ‘+’ version so we can watch on Roku, iPad, etc.  

    I don’t mind the ads, as they are programmatic similar to watching a show.  Contrast that with the free movie network Crackle (from Sony), which just randomly pops in ads … and at least they now have more than one type of commercial per movie (yes, when it launched you would see the SAME commercial about 10-15 times per movie!).

    I absolutely love Amazon Prime as well … just can’t say enough.  And the way it integrates with our Roku (and my Kindle Fire) is also perfect.

  7. My finger is already hovering over the “cancel” button just based on the increase in the ads per show. Make authentication a requirement and I’m gone.

    They think they’re going to force cord-cutters back “into the fold”, but I have a feeling this is going to backfire on them big-time. Netflix lost over a million with their blunder last year – this will be far worse. My mother used to use the phrase “cutting off your nose to spite your face”.

    All this trouble just so some people don’t have to change the way they do business.

    Media moguls – your Golden Goose is dying – wake up and make the changes needed to save your own butts, or those million dollar salaries will be gone before you realize it…

  8. Thing is – they don’t realize that Hulu is already a sort of NEW golden goose.  I mean, using myself as an example, we pay for cable and also cough up $7.99 a month for Hulu+ – gladly. It frees us from a schedule, or a specific device, and is really worth that small outlay.

  9. This story reaffirms my decision to not getting a HULU subscription. We have no cable television nor landlines. Our family has 6 iPhones and 4 iPads. If HULU continues to make it difficult to enjoy their programming, they will never get our subscription or advertising dollars.

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