A very troubling announcement was just made on the Boxee Blog. Hulu will be pulled from Boxee this Friday as requested by Hulu!
You read that correctly. According to the Hulu team, they were contacted by Hulu requesting that Boxee remove Hulu from their list of content providers. This is a very bad PR move on Hulu's part, but based on what the guys at Hulu are saying, this is a direct result of the content providers (isn't Hulu OWNED by those content providers - NBC and NewsCorp?) demanding Boxee be cut off. I had assumed Hulu would continue to look the other way while hardware and software makers worked to inject Hulu into their devices - as long as the commercials were left intact. Obviously this is not the case.
This is very bad news for Boxee, for SageTV, and for any of the new plugins cropping up around the web that allow us to get Hulu onto our television sets. It's an especially tough blow to Boxee as Hulu and Netflix were the cornerstones of the excitement for Boxee in my opinion. I hope Hulu and those content providers change their minds, but it doesn't sound good at this point.
I'll be working to confirm whether any other companies (SageTV, DivX Connected, PlayOn etc) that access or plan to access the Hulu streams have been contacted by Hulu or plan on just changing their Hulu plans. Very disappointing day indeed.
This would be the second time Hulu has gotten tough and it sounds like it won't be the last time. It's about time for the TV industry to realize they will evolve or go into a real free-fall just like the music industry did.