Hulu to Start Requiring Pay TV Subscription From Users (Report)

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Meanwhile, NBC also plans to keep most London Olympics streaming events from cord cutters.


Online video joint venture Hulu plans to move towards requiring users to show proof of a pay TV subscription, the New York Post reported.

Under the industry-wide so-called TV Everywhere initiative, consumers can access pay TV content online, but only when they get authenticated as paying subscribers of a cable or satellite TV operator.

The Post suggested that Hulu's Web traffic could be dragged down by the move towards authentication. It had 31 million unique users in March.

A Hulu spokeswoman declined to comment on the report about the site's authentication plans.

Hulu is owned by NBCUniversal, News Corp. and Walt Disney, with private equity firm Providence Equity Partners expected to cash out of its 10 percent stake in the coming months.

In another authentication move, NBC Sports will require pay TV subscriptions from consumers for most events of the London Olympics this summer that it is offering in streaming online form, the Post also said. The company has said it will offer an unprecedented 3,500 hours of streaming coverage.

To keep cord cutters from viewing, the “vast majority” of streamed content will require authentication, NBC said, according to the Post. The network hasn't announced all its detailed plans.

NBC also had authentication requirements during the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada, but streaming coverage was much more limited.