Hulu‘s exclusivity deal with NBC could be under threat, depending on interpretations of proposed FCC limitations on the Comcast/NBC deal. According to AllThingsD, FCC head Julius Genachowski could be looking to bypass Hulu as an exclusive NBC content provider, but the dialog around the conditions are so vague it’s difficult to tell whose interests the FCC is serving.
According to the WSJ, one of Genachowski’s key goals is to ensure that online video content would be broadly available, even after the proposed deal goes ahead:
“Comcast would be required to offer NBC Universal programming to any online video provider that has reached a similar deal for content with some of NBC’s competitors, such as Walt Disney Co. or Fox Television, a division of News Corp.” WSJ
However, it’s not entirely clear what Genachowski hopes to achieve by that. As AllThingsD suggest, it could mean that NBC would not be allowed to prevent Hulu from syndicating its content to other sites, as is currently the case. Alternatively, it might be a sign that NBC has to directly offer its content to other sites, in effect cancelling out Hulu’s exclusivity agreement and potentially bypassing the site altogether.
The proposed deal will be voted on in 2011.