Nice write up by Claire Atkinson at Broadcasting & Cable:
So more focus will now fall on CBS, both as the lone Hulu holdout among the big four networks and because of the $1.8 billion it paid for CNET.
“My guess is that CBS is going to feel their digital strategy needs to deliver this year because of their CNET acquisitions,” says Dennis Miller, general partner at venture capital firm Spark Capital. “Their individuals are going to be under pressure. We’re just in the first inning of what’s going to be relatively long game.”
CBS, which has held on-again, off-again talks to become part of Hulu, issued a statement following the Disney announcement maintaining its commitment to pursuing its own non-exclusive content partnerships.
CBS may ultimately become a partner, but it has other reasons for maintaining a distance; the desire to make cable operators pay for retransmission of CBS network. One executive with knowledge of talks said, “The money is with retrans today. The question is what’s the value of what’s going on with online video. Retrans is very much top of mind.”
Spark Capital’s Miller says, “Hulu has both surprised and disappointed at the same time.” He gives it credit for growing the brand and becoming the “first viable portal of professional content.” But, he adds, “The commercial load and not selling out their inventory has given pause to the studios as to whether it is a sufficiently compelling model to join and proclaim as the market leader.”