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September 05 2009

No more Buffy seasons 2 and 3 on Hulu. Season 3 is being removed on October 2, Season 2 on October 16.

I wonder why.
You know, it's kindof pathetic. But until this type of revokability problem is resolved among this type of streaming video site, streaming video is NEVER going to become what it needs to be for the medium of TV and movies to evolve to where they need to be.
They lost Season 1 of Bones awhile back too. Seems the networks are narrowing the offerings for certain shows over time. I expect in the hopes people buy the DVDs instead.
D'oh. Wrong thread.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-09-05 02:30 ]
A lot of the problems with seasons and episodes on Hulu have been music copyright issues from what I've seen.

Bummer.
I thought Hulu and Fox were all friendly with each other.
Fox is a part owner of Hulu, as are NBC and ABC. This
would indicate to me that may think that they are being
over generous and (imo) that this is hurting some other
revenue stream such as DVD sales.

[ edited by JDL on 2009-09-05 03:21 ]
Did anyone think it might be a space issue. I mean those shows have to be stored somewhere for viewing. Perhaps if a show doesn't generate enough hits they plan to shelve it to offer more shows for viewing that are being asked for, or making room for the new season of shows. Just a thought, if they are scaling back budgets, one of the 1st to get cut would be storage.
Nah, storage is cheap. I'm sure the bandwidth they use costs thousands of times more than their storage costs.

I'm guessing they just think they can get more out of DVDs than from the online ads.
Memory's not that expensive. And getting cheaper all the time, in accordance with Moore's Law. I doubt it's that, far more likely to be a rights thing.

My sister will not be pleased. Neither will I, because she'll be borrowing my DVDs all the time now. Also, watching on Hulu was how I got into the series and if I'd only been able to see season 1, I doubt I'd have really come to love it the way I have. (Anecdotal evidence, whee!)
Storage is basically cheap, in the context of all the things web services have ti pay for. I can't see this being a storage issue.
Best two seasons, too. That bites. I'm not a huge Hulu user but it is how I first saw Dr. Horrible. Don't like these free sites being hobbled. And they're worrying about Buffy?? That just seems a little overkilly. What's next, Northern Exposure?

Really hope it has nothing to do with the current "oh anything that is vampire we must definitely define our ownership of!" trend, because of twinkly little Twilight (not the S8 villain, the tween flick).
"Season 3 is being removed on October 2, Season 2 on October 16."

What I don't understand is why the seasons are being pulled in this nonsensically reversed timeline? Oh wait--is it so people will have more time to finish season 2 and want to see 3 enough to buy DVDs?
I can dig the idea that they want people to buy DVDs (and I want to buy them all to support the creators as much as possible), at some point though, the audience will be saturated, and unless they keep reaching out by way of things like TV syndication and Hulu with freebies, new people won't try it, like it, and buy it.

I can also dig rotating seasons around. Take down 1-3, put up 4, wait a while, take down 4 and put up 5. Or, maybe they could just focus on getting the first seasons of more shows, and stick with that as an introductory thing, and keep it to a most recent 5 episodes if the show is still airing. Or... well, there's a lot of ways they could do it that would allow people to get introduced and hooked, and to see newly aired episodes without hurting DVD sales.

Space is unlikely to be the issue, but bandwidth sure is. Perhaps gradually advertisers will throw more money at web content when they realize the audience is growing so fast the providers can't serve it up fast enough AND they're likely to re-watch the shows with your ads, too! Bonus!
Interesting, as this fall there's a number of televisions being sold with built in wifi, web browsers and even the Flash Player. Current models include FlashLite 3.1, which Hulu might not be compatible with, but early next year they will be shipping with the new mobile version of Flash Player 10. Some tvs will even include remote controls that slide open to reveal of full keyboard.

So we're really going to see the lines of the Internet and television blur in the next couple of years. So it would be cool for services like Hulu not to cut off old content, so that it can really become tv on demand.

As for the cause, I'm guessing it's more likely issues with musical rights. Buffy was always had quite the soundtrack featuring some of the coolest bands of the day, some who may have more restricting Internet rights.
I don't think they're "losing the rights" persay. Publishers basically use Hulu as advertising, either for a show that's on the air or for DVDs. So they put up a season or two for a while, then remove it.

It's that way for all shows-- Arrested Development is doing the same thing (their seasons are also being removed in reverse order. Weird). House periodically puts up and takes down episodes too. So I really don't think it's a "Buffy's being taken down!" thing. Other seasons will probably pop up eventually and they'll be taken down after a period of months too, and Fox will probably get some DVD sales from it.

Do you want to know something really funny/sad, though? Go to the Firefly show page and look at the order of the episodes.

Hulu has them in the wrong order too. Lol =/
They're in DVD order on Hulu.
I don't think they're "losing the rights" persay


Yes there's nothing on the site that states why the episodes are going (though one could speculate). So I've tweaked the headline to avoid any potential misunderstanding.
Don't TheWB.com stream the eps? I remember being handed WB website merch for Buffy at Comic-Con. Maybe they complained.
TheWB.com only carries like five episodes at a time, and they're all from season one (at least they have been).
Oh, super lame.

It's probably just DVD related, then.
I wonder if Hulu UK will get them.
S'what I was thinking, could it be a clash between repeats rights owned by other broadcasters in other regions (like the UK if Hulu's about to launch here) ? Not sure if/why that'd affect the US but IANAL.
Did we establish who currently owns the earlier seasons of Buffy in the UK? It's not FX now is it. I still find the idea of Hulu UK strange since shows that air on like 4 networks in the US are spread around (with other crap) on about 40 channels. It must be hell of a venture getting all the big channel operators put a share in.
Copy right law needs reform badly. They're just unable to fulfill the demand at the moment.
@Rachelkachel, Anecdotal evidence ++. Same exact story here. I saw Buffy for the first time on Hulu and I couldn't stop thinking about the end of Season 2. Eventually I caved and bought the DVDs to see what happened when she got off that bus. But if I'd just watched Season 1? I don't think I would have ended up getting the Buffy and Angel collections, not to mention tuning in religiously to Dollhouse and trying my best to like Bones. By all means, preserve DVD sales by not showing everything, but be calculated in what you do show or you won't be able to drum up new customers at all.
Angel drops to only five episodes on Hulu in October as well.
this has nothing to do with Hulu, but Verizon VCast Video is streaming eps of Buffy and DH on their FOX link.
im canadian so that means 0 watchable videos- 0 watchable videos is still 0 for me.

I hate Hulu and Crackle and anything else that blocks off canada.
Well this is terribly disappointing. I love using Hulu to try and convince people who live a good distance away from me to give the show a shot since I obviously can't lend DVD's to them. Definitely stinks but I guess I'll have to find another way!
Announcement says Oct 2nd, but that's apparently wrong, according to my Queue Season 3 is expiring 9/12/2009, in less than a WEEK.

[ edited by guardian_owl on 2009-09-06 02:29 ]
I don't understand how they can be DVD related at this point. Most people should own Buffy by now on DVD so unless they're getting lost or stolen I'm not sure how much more business they're getting. However, I *own* the DVD's and will watch online just because I don't want to bring the DVD's into the bedroom, open the box, open the sleeve, find the DVD, insert the DVD, wait for the application, wait for the application, wait for the application, press the right episode, and watch. I'd rather just go to Hulu and press play.

Seems like they're forgoing revenue, not making it. Then again... I don't have the numbers they're looking at. But I can say without Hulu, they're not making MORE money from me on that series.

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