Variety is reporting that a number of changes are coming to Hulu as part of a shakeup that could see CEO Jason Kilar leave the company. Hulu is owned by NBCUniversal, Fox, Disney, and Provident Equity, and according to a confidential memo detailed on the site, its owners are looking to take back control of their content.
Networks could withhold the rights to any content they want
The memo details a number of changes that may be coming Hulu. First, the site will no longer have exclusivity for current-season content, which is presently restricted to Hulu and the content owner's websites. Should the change take place, it could open the door for companies like Disney to license their programming to a third-party such as YouTube, which would significantly reduce Hulu's competitive advantage. The networks could also withhold the rights to any content they want. At present, Hulu is entitled to all programming on, for example, the Fox network's website, but should the memo be accurate, News Corp could choose make Fringe or any of its assets Fox.com exclusives.
Another major shift would mean the end of Hulu's "super-distribution" rights, meaning the responsibility for the syndication of videos to sites like Yahoo and AOL would revert back to the content owners. The final change detailed is a more minor one: Fox will start inserting four ads per commercial break into its videos. As Variety hasn't published the entire memo, it's impossible to know if the changes are a certainty, or if these are merely matters for the board to discuss.