Rumor: Hulu could force users to prove they pay for TV

Do you enjoy watching shows like Fringe or Family Guy via Hulu after they are shown on TV? Well, if you do, and if you are not using a cable or satellite TV provider, you might be out of luck at some point in the future. The New York Post reports via unnamed sources that Hulu might decide to put in a feature that would ask its users for proof they pay for their regular TV service.

The report claims that cable and satellite companies would be happy with such a move as it would curtail the loss of its customers as they move toward watching TV shows via streaming, on demand outlets like Hulu and Netflix.

However, Hulu already gets revenue via commercials in their TV streams. The story said that Hulu generated $420 million in revenue via ads in 2011. If it forces its users to prove they are already paying for TV, it could cut down on their ad revenues considerably.

The same report claims that this possible change to a authentication model was part of the reason why one of Hulu's financial backers decided last week to cash in their stake in the company. The Seattle Times reports that Providence Equity Partners plans to sell its 10 percent holdings for $200 million.

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