While its network ABC is fully on board with Hulu and Hulu Plus, Modern Family creator Steven Levitan is dead-set against it. And I’m not sure his reasoning really holds up.
His main arguments aren’t too surprising: he wants to know how many people are watching his show and the network is shifty about reporting online views, and he wants to get paid a decent rate for online views. Here’s what he wants, when it gets down to it:
“1) Show Modern Family online, but include all the same commercials. The CW sold its 2010-11 upfront ad inventory this way and was able to charge higher rates than if the spots were on network alone. 2) Make those online viewership numbers readily available to everyone. 3) If some people want to view the show without commercials, then, by all means, allow them to do that for a fee.”
And he wants to pull Modern Family from Hulu completely because of this? Hey, pal, you do realize that people are paying to watch your show and being made to watch commercials through Hulu Plus? Clearly, the team behind Hulu is still figuring out what works and what doesn’t. But if you yank popular shows like Modern Family from it, you’re not even giving legit streaming a chance to work.
Content creators are a little frustrated, sure, maybe justifiably so. There’s no good reason that viewership reporting from online streaming isn’t clear and readily available. But the fact of the matter is that Modern Family has been available on Hulu since it’s premiere, and Levitan seems pretty convinced that it had nothing to do with the show’s success.
Hey Levitan: your show had a lot of good buzz on the internet during its first season, buzz that grew by the week. Do you think that maybe, just maybe, the ability for someone who heard about the show on Twitter or through a friend and was able to check it out immediately might have had something to do with that? Modern Family just won a slew of Emmys and is heading into its second season with as much hype as one could hope for. Maybe rather than wanting to kill Hulu, you should consider how much of your success you owe to it. [via]