Hulu takes another step towards the end of traditional television distribution

I’ve been predicting for some time now that the distribution of television shows over the airwaves will be a thing of the past sooner than later. It will be replaced by Internet (or whatever the Internet will be called at this time) distribution. It just makes sense. There’s only so much programming that can travel over the airwaves in any given city and it is bound by city limits.

On the other hand, the Internet can deliver virtually unlimited programming to unlimited locations. And with the Internet, you don’t need to have million dollar pockets to create your own show and get people to watch. YouTube has already proved that.

Hulu

My prediction took another step forward today when the online video site, Hulu, announced that it would begin showing full episodes of popular shows on ABC, ABC Family, Disney Channel and SOAPnet. These aren’t the first full length television shows to be distributed on Hulu. Hulu has long been tied to NBC and Fox but this new relationship with ABC and the Disney Channel deeply broadens the selection available on Hulu. Can CBS be far behind?

Disney Channel reunion

I particularly like the addition of Disney Channel shows to Hulu since I no longer subscribe to any cable or satellite service. Although my kids have adapted quite well to the selection of free shows available on local television stations, they still miss a few of their favorite Disney shows.

The only piece of the puzzle remaining to me is a partnership between TiVo and Hulu. When this happens, TiVo will cease to be a recording device for me. Instead it will be a go-fetch-it-off-the-Internet device with Hulu as its first stop.

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6 Comments

  1. Brian

    Another reason why I don’t have Tivo or more than 20 dollar/month cable!

  2. Patric Welch

    @Brian: I couldn’t live without my TiVo!!

  3. Brian

    @Patric Soon you won’t need it. How long do you think it will be until Tivo.com looks a bit like Hulu.com?

  4. Patric Welch

    @Brian: I actually predicted this a while back on my blog. I mentioned that TiVo is no longer a DVR. It’s a one-stop shop for watching shows from television, the Internet, wherever.

  5. Patric Welch

    @Brian: Very cool! But the answer to your question is still yes. I don’t want to watch Hulu on my desktop and I don’t have a media center hooked up to my television. TiVo is already my one stop shop for television and Internet programming so a Hulu addition to my existing Video on Demand would still be my nirvana.