Despite long-term success on the Web’s most popular digital distribution platform for television, the Daily Show and the Colbert Report will both be flickering off Hulu for good next week. Hulu announced on Tuesday that Viacom had cut its rights to air the shows in a post on the Hulu blog.
“After a series of discussions with the team at Comedy Central… we ultimately were unable to secure the rights to extend these shows for a much longer period of time,” wrote Andy Forssell, Hulu’s senior vice president of content and distribution.
Although Forssell danced around the reasons for the departure, mentions of revenue hint that Comedy Central owner Viacom may not have been satisfied with the dollars flowing in from Hulu – especially considering that it will continue to offer both shows, without Hulu as a middle man, through its own Web outlets: TheDailyShow.com and ColbertNation.com.
Despite the departure, Forssell made the split seem amicable, and even expressed a wish that the forlorn lovers might eventually get back together. “Comedy Central have been great partners for us, and our users have been extremely vocal and passionate about how much they love what the Comedy Central folks are doing,” Forssell wrote. “In the meantime, we are continuing to talk to the Comedy Central folks about a number of opportunities. They’re a great team and I’m confident that we’ll be working with them in multiple ways in the future … so stay tuned and know that we are scouring the earth for more great content for you.”
Both shows will disappear off Hulu for good on March 9, at 11:59 p.m.
In the comments following the post, many Hulu users expressed disappointment at the split, threatening to leave Hulu, DVR the shows and fast forward through the commercials, or even download the shows illegally through torrents.