Hulu sale could lead to more commercials, longer release delays


Late last week it was reported that streaming video provider Hulu was considering an acquisition offer. The news snowballed yesterday into a much bigger proposition, with a report that the company would be meeting with multiple potential buyers in the coming weeks. Now some additional information has surfaced about what such a sale might mean for us consumers, compiled in a mega-post over on All Things Digital.

Hulu’s three partner owners, Disney/ABC, News Corp./Fox and Comcast/NBCU, have all sealed their deals to extend their content licenses. Disney and News Corp. both have management roles, meaning the fact that their deals have been extended also keeps fellow partner NBC Universal on board as well. All of which serves to make the web destination a more tantalizing purchase. All the consumer really needs to be concerned with here is that the content that’s already available on Hulu from these three companies won’t be going anywhere.

That’s the good news. Unfortunately, it looks like some changes might be incoming that won’t sit so well. For starters, the new buyers will likely extend window between a show’s airdate and its Hulu release from the day after to as much as eight days, The Los Angeles Times reports. The delay can be gotten around if viewers can prove they are cable or satellite TV subscribers. Since this approach will require that a new authentication system is implemented, it will take some time before we see it. VentureBeat also reports that the sale will likely insert a larger number of commercials into each streaming episode, but that information isn’t sourced.

Regardless, Hulu has never quite managed to rival the quality customer experience of Netflix’s Watch Instantly service due to its focus on securing freshly aired content each week. The ads and post-airing release delays are a direct result of that, even for the service’s Hulu Plus subscription package. None of the above-mentioned scenarios will become a reality unless the purchase happens and the new owner pushes for them, but longer delays and more commercials will only serve to push more customers away.

Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.
Home Theater

Looking for the best 4K Ultra HD TVs you can buy? Here are five great options

If it's time to upgrade your old 1080p to a new 4K model but you don't know what to look for, fear not, as we're here with a list of the best 4K Ultra HD TVs to help make your buying process as easy as possible.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 2, Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas, and more.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Here’s how to install Windows on a Chromebook

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so, just in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only…

Supermicro investigation: no spy chips found on our motherboards

Supermicro announced the results of an investigation into the controversy surrounding its motherboards. The investigation was launched in response to reports that alleged the motherboards were compromised with malicious hardware.

We want every laptop to be as thin as an iPhone. But is it practical?

The Acer Swift 7 is the thinnest notebook you can buy, and it feels like the notebook of the future. But it makes too many compromises along the way, and some weird design choices hold it back.

Photographers can now customize the layout of Lightroom Classic controls

Tired of scrolling past Lightroom tools that you don't use? Adobe Lightroom Classic now allows users to reorganize the Develop panel. The update comes along with new sharing options in Lightroom CC, and updates to the mobile Lightroom app.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…

Windows 10 user activity logs are sent to Microsoft despite users opting out

Windows 10 Privacy settings may not be enough to stop PCs from releasing user activity data to Microsoft. Users discovered that opting out of having their data sent to Microsoft does little to prevent it from being released.

Intel's discrete graphics will be called 'Xe,' IGP gets Adapative Sync next year

Intel has officially dubbed its discrete graphics product Intel Xe, and the company also provided details about its Gen11 IGP. The latter will include adaptive sync support and will arrive in 2019.

Intel answers Qualcomm's new PC processors by pairing Core and Atom in 'Foveros'

Intel has announced a new packaging technology called 'Foveros' that makes it easier for the company to place multiple chips together on one package. That includes chips based on different Intel architectures, like Core and Atom.

Razer’s classic DeathAdder Elite gaming mouse drops to $40 on Amazon

If you're looking to pick up a new gaming mouse for the holidays, Amazon has you covered with this great deal on the classic Razer DeathAdder Elite gaming mouse with customizable buttons, RGB lighting, and a 16,000 DPI optical sensor.

Intel's dedicated GPU is not far off -- here's what we know

Did you hear? Intel is working on a dedicated graphics card. It's called Arctic Sound and though we don't know a lot about it, we know that Intel has some ex-AMD Radeon graphics engineers developing it.