Hulu is jointly owned by News Corp (which runs Fox), NBC Universal, and Disney (which runs ABC). The fact that it even exists is a miracle of executive harmony. But that harmony may be going off key a bit. News Corp and Disney are increasingly reluctant to give away TV shows on Hulu when they could be making money off them in some other way, through Netflix or iTunes for example. NBC Universal is soon to be made a silent partner in the enterprise as part of the restrictions placed on the Comcast acquisition. But Hulu is thinking broadly too:
In what would be a major shift in direction, Hulu management has discussed recasting Hulu as an online cable operator that would use the Web to send live TV channels and video-on-demand content to subscribers, say people familiar with the talks. The new service, which is still under discussion, would mimic the bundles of channels now sold by cable and satellite operators, the people said.
This WSJ piece is actually a pretty interesting read on corporate culture. Hulu is run by Jason Kilar, an old Amazon hand, and he runs it like Amazon used to be: no one has an office, everything is Spartan, no one sweats hierarchy much. But TV networks are just the opposite and the two sides have a hard time understanding each other sometimes.