Dish Network Wants To Make Hulu Even More Useless

from the fighting-consumer-interests dept

It’s really sad watching the TV industry shoot itself in the foot. You would think that, given the opportunity to watch the music industry and the movie industry screw up their attempts to deal with the online world, the TV folks (of everyone) might recognize that fighting “free” and fighting what consumers want to do is a mistake. And yet, we’ve seen over and over again, the TV guys are fighting the internet as much as possible, because of various deals that make them billions (at the expense of consumers) and from which they have no desire to go away. It’s why they remain in complete denial that people are actually cutting the cord and going online-only.

However, while they’re in denial publicly, they clearly are afraid of the internet. It’s why they keep forcing Hulu to do stupid things that limit what users want, guaranteeing that the real disruption in the TV-online space will come from companies other than Hulu. But, even so, the TV guys keep looking to make Hulu even worse for consumers than it already is. The latest example is a Dish Network exec claiming that Hulu shouldn’t make content available for free right after it airs, instead saying that it should wait 30 days. Why? Because Dish wants people to be forced to keep their satellite subscription to Dish, where they can catch up on missed shows via the disastrous “TV Everywhere,” plan.

There is no good reason for Hulu to support this. All it does is encourage unauthorized access to content by making it harder to find legally. But what it does show, quite clearly, is that a company like Dish doesn’t care at all about what consumers want or what’s best for consumers. Yet another reason why it’s ripe for disruption.

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Companies: dish network, hulu

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Comments on “Dish Network Wants To Make Hulu Even More Useless”

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Hephaestus (profile) says:

The same mentality pervades the entire content industry. Which is why Record Labels, TV studios, Movie Studios, Books Publishers, Magazines, and Newspapers are all going to make the same mistakes when dealing with the internet. All bundling is going away, records, magazines, newspapers, TV stations, etc. People only want what interests them and face it 90 percent of what is on TV is crap.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“All bundling is going away”

You mean partitioning. These companies thrive on the ability to divide things up into as many separate salable chunks as they can. Why give the consumers the “premium” channels when they can partition them into a different category and charge extra for them? Is it something superior to what the basic package offers? No, but their content is more homogeneous and that lets them partition them into a higher-priced tier.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“You mean partitioning”

Partitioning will also go away but I actually do mean bundling. Magazines, newspapers, individual television channels are all bundles. Think of the channel, newspaper, magazine, as a container. The containers CNBS, NBC, ABC are bundled individual shows.

Going back to what happened to the record labels we saw that people prefered singles. There was no need to buy the entire album when all you wanted was one or two tracks. History will repeat itself, TV will become individual shows, Newspapers and magazines will become individual articles. Its the trend, and no amount of wishing for the blue fairy to stop it will help in the slightest.

People only want what interests them and what they like.

I’m on a horse … 😉 I keep forgetting to add that.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“This is the way of the future. Hulu is nonsense and going to die a quick death.”

U R Preaching to the choir.

Here is a quick prediction. Google will not do anything to get around the TV station blocks on GTV. That includes paying for content. You will see people creating hacks that allow for GTV box to appear to be something other than a GTV box and access blocked content.

Google is playing a waiting game. The current system of cable operators being reamed for content, and passing the cost on to their subscribers, is unsustainable and will collapse as more people move to cut the cable cord. The result will be the studios trying to charge the consumers directly. This will be a massive fail. It will also lead to the cable companies attempting to charge per gigabyte. Which will end up being a massive fail also. For this whole thing to shake out it will take about 5-7 years.

TPBer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

This is Googles whole plan, they do not want to look like the bad guy, they just handed the gun to the bad guy instead.

As for the block they do not block chrome on any sites now, it does not work well on some but not blocked, this would be a big deal if the content weasels tried to segregate browsers, i am sure google would speak up as they already have about this.

:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

Mistaken Customers

Actually, they are being somewhat logical. The people to whom then sell ‘content’ are not their customers. They are, in fact, the product. Their customers are the people who advertise with them.

Of course, having more and better ‘product’ would allow them to charge their customers higher rates, but they likely aren’t thinking that far ahead either.

AJ says:

From the offices of the networks....

Were bundling TV channels that our customers don?t want.
Were beating the competition down with lawsuits and forcing them to do stupid things.
Were trying to get the DVR outlawed.
We yelled and screamed about time-shifting.
We constantly call our customers criminals.
We lobby government to keep our monopolies in place.

Why the heck are we loosing our customers to the internet, and why do they keep pirating our tv shows? It makes no since!


Danny says:

Re: Re: Re:

Which is odd because if I miss an episode in order to keep watching them in order (which you kinda need to do for serial dramas like SGU) you have to intentionally miss next weeks episode while waiting the 8 days for it to show up on Hulu. Next thing you know you’re behind on your show.

Thankfully SyFy reuns new SGU later that night and 1-2 other times before the next new one airs but all shows aren’t scheduled like that.

Rick says:


This just sems odd to me.

DISH is currently offering the Google TV appliance for $179 (retails for $299) to customers AND letting it integrate into the DISH DVRs ($4/month for integration), so they work together.

I realize HULU blocks Google TV, but this is easily resolved by changing the browser client.

So, they want to slow HULU down on release dates, but yet want their customers to buy Google TV so they can watch YouTube, HULU, etc…

Just odd to me…

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Here's the thing...

I can see two ways of doing this:

1. We fix all the problems of the world so he doesn’t have to do this blog any more

2. You visit the Cwf + RtB section of Techdirt (link at top of page) and select the Silence Techdirt option.

I’ll leave it up to you which one is easier to complete before Thanksgiving.

Berenerd (profile) says:

I have Direct TV...

So last night I had some spare time and wanted to watch G4 TV…sadly Direct TV no longer carries it because they couldn’t come to an agreement on cost with the company. So I called them today asking when I will be getting a rate drop for my package because they are no longer offering the channels they list in my contract. They said they can’t drop the rate and that access to to watch television and channels is not guaranteed by the contract. I am awaiting a call back from a manager (no I am not holding my breath) as I stated that after being a customer for 12 years with them, they have raised my rates and given me nothing but services that are not available in my area and home shopping channels. I want to know why I, My parents, and my 2 tenants ( yes I pay for their TV and internet as part of rent)should bother paying them money if they can’t even hold the programming that we can get for free online.

Jay says:

Re: I have Direct TV...

This right here? This is the reason that when I move, all I’m looking for is the internet.

I can’t watch G4 which I loved, and have to settle for a few other channels that didn’t cater to the gamer/techie crowd. We never got a lot on the regular tube but G4 really sealed the deal in holding my interest. Now, I can get movies online along with TV anytime I want. Why should I pay for the service?

Tea Party Winrar says:


“I am kind of excited-afraid to find out what Mike would blog about if techdirt was shut down for a year.”

Without a doubt, Masnick would continue his blogging escapades over at Over there, he talks about trimming the hedges, aerating the yard, and painting the inside of closets in his finished basement. It’s one of my favorites and in my RSS reader! Check it out!

rec9140 (user link) says:

Hulu has been and continues

to be useless.

I’ll keep my DISH and DVR.

When Hulu wants to cut the crap with the blocking, and the removing of content after x days, and putting the new shows up at the same time aired… oh… and forget the charge idea… not happening. If I am dumping DISH to get the stuff online then I have paid my admission er subscription fee via my internet access fee.

So I will pocket the $$ for DISH, or possibly up the level of internet and spend a little of what I was spending on DISH for high speed… BUT….

If Hulu etc.. are blocking this, blocking that, etc.. nope. I’ll keep my DISH, and probably will for several years more.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Hulu has been and continues

When Hulu wants to cut the crap with the blocking, and the removing of content after x days, and putting the new shows up at the same time aired…

You act like anyone at Hulu actually wants to do any of these things.

The reason Hulu has these “antifeatures” is because cable companies hope everyone will act just like you.

Drake says:

In Canada, the major ISP’s are owned by companies that are also the biggest TV/Satellite providers. The introduction of metered usage billing is one way they are striking back at cord cutters.

Bell has recently been granted permission by the CRTC to force DSL wholesalers & resellers to implement a 60GB/month cap and charge $1.19/GB in overage fees.

So, if you get rid of Bell’s satellite TV service and sign up with an independent DSL provider who is a Bell wholesaler, just how much streaming video can you watch?

With netflix, 1 hour = 1GB unless it’s in HD. Then 1 hour = 2GB. Let’s say you watch 30 hours/month in standard definition. That will consume 30GB. If you download video games from steam, you might consume an additional 10-20GB. VOIP doesn’t consume much but it will still add to your bandwidth totals. So will watching clips on youtube. If you download files in addition to using your Internet for all of the above, you will easily go over 60GB/month.

As long as these companies control access to both TV and Internet they can afford to make ridiculous statements that they know aren’t true. They don’t care. They have most of us by the balls and they’re going to use every dirty trick they can think of to get more and more money out of us.

Anonymous Coward says:

Screw Dish Network. All they are good for is leaving their stupid looking little satellite dishes sticking up all over. They created a blight in my neighborhood. Then when you cancel the they still leave the dish up to make the neighborhood look even worse. Crap TV, overpriced CRAP. Then to add insult to injury you are forced to put up with Paid Announcement Programs all over the many channels. I had already paid for that crap and then forced to watch more crap commercials or nothing. Also the debacle with the Networks. All I had to do is spend $40.00 on a new digital box and I have networks all the time. Dish is stupid. Plus all the god damned channels make it a nightmare to find anything. I like Hulu better. More choices and series I didn’t even know existed.

mike87d (profile) says:

As both a customer and employee of DISH Network I will say that we do care what our customers want. As an employee, I understand that it costs money for the content to be created so for it to be available freely does no good to either the providers or the consumers. But I honestly have no need for Hulu. With DISH’s TV Everywhere platform I can make sure my episodes were recorded by checking online or on my phone, and then stream it from my receiver to my phone or laptop. Until Hulu gives me live TV and the ability to record and keep what I wanna watch later then it is not a serious competitor for any pay TV provider, let alone DISH.

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