Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Watch TV Episodes Online A Week Before They Air on Hulu

If I were a TV Network executive....  Ok, I'm not, but if I were I would take every new series premiere and make it available everywhere:  Post it on YouTube, put it on Hulu, Netflix Watch Now, run promotions with free DVD's where half the people get a copy all promoting the first, premiere episode of that show.  Make sure you get to as many people as possible BEFORE it airs on TV.  Why?  Because if its going to have a chance in this TIVO/HTPC/DVR world people have to know about it and help create the buzz before its aired.  I don't understand why they don't use the viral promotion that way more.

Well NBC is actually doing this in a small way with several of its episodes including new series as well as many returning series.  NBC is putting many of their premiere episodes on the popular online streaming website, Hulu so that every US resident can watch the online episode a week early.  I hope to see more of this in the future.  If they need to put a bunch of advertising in the episodes so be it, but give your new shows a chance for goodness sake.

This week, NBC has the following shows up a week before they air on television:
And three additional shows will have their premieres available a week before airing as well:
  • Chuck 9/29 Premiere available online 9/22 at Hulu
  • Life 9/29 Premiere available online 9/22 at Hulu
  • 30 Rock 10/30 Premiere available online 9/23 at Hulu
No such luck for Heroes, The Office or House (three shows I'll watch anyway)

There are many episodes online after they air, but putting them up before they are is quite unusual, but very welcome.  Yes, I'd rather watch these shows on my nice, HDTV but for shows I'm not sure about, its a good way to "test the waters" to see if its worth committing to.  And I might just spread the word when I like it too.
The full, Hulu Fall schedule with details about which online episodes are available after TV broadcast can be found here.