There was a big deal a few years ago from the parent company that owned NBC and the guys at YouTube. YouTube, if you weren’t already aware, is a user based video site. There users can upload there own movies for others to watch. The movies are general short and range from bloopers to short films. Youtube exploded and it become something of a massive phenomenon. NOw, this site also had something the site isn’t supposed to have: it had copyrighted movies on the site. Usually just clips but there was a growing number of complete television episodes. Most companies didn’t raise a stink about it. They figured that while it did violate some laws they weren’t going to do anything. One, because it is free publicity for the show and second, because it wouldn’t be cost efficient to sue some user who probably doesn’t have any money to begin with.
NBC however, raised a stink and made Youtube remove all of their videos so they can move them to a site they could control, sell advertising on, and control the content themselves. The truth of the matter was that it was a money thing. By keeping everything on their site they can sell advertising to it. This is where Hulu comes into play. This is a site that has all the NBC and NBC affiliates programming on. If you watch any of the shows on there you will see a 30 second spot every 5 or 6 minutes. These companies pay big money on advertising but until the viewers get more consistent they won’t pay NBC enough to make it worth while to keep the site. While the site is certainly not going anywhere, the people who run HULU have to figure out a way to make their site profitable for the future.