Truce Between Hulu and Boxee Could Hurt Google TV


The bad blood between sweet little Boxee, a start-up that lets you watch video from the Internet on your TV, and big bad Hulu started back in February 2009, when Hulu and its cable overlords (News Corp.’s Fox, Disney’s ABC, and GE’s NBC Universal) tried to block Hulu on Boxee once it started getting popular with early adopters who didn’t want to wait around for the networks to figure out how to adapt to the times. How do you stop a war that once involved accusations of illegal access, a Twitter account that existed solely to keep track of when Hulu was on or off Boxee, and Congressional questioning about the nature of the feud? With a mutual enemy and a little financial incentive. Duh.

At the launch of the Boxee box last night (users can now buy a box with the software baked in), the New York start-up’s CEO, Avner Ronen, and chief product officer, Zach Klein, the entrepreneurial whiz behind College Humor and Vimeo, announced that Boxee will support a Netflix integration by the end of the year and that a link to Hulu’s paid service (ka-ching!) is also on deck. As MediaMemo’s Peter Kafka points out, with Google TV in the mix, network executives are warming up to Boxee, which currently has 1.4 million users, in the hopes of throwing a wet blanket over another Google monopoly. Frenemies know when to put aside their differences to scheme against a bigger threat.

Boxee Box launches, adds Netflix and Hulu Plus support [CNET]
A Web Video Truce: Free Hulu Goes Away From Boxee, Replaced by Hulu Plus [MediaMemo/AllThingsD]
Related: Network TV vs. Google TV: The Battle to Bring the Internet to Your TV Set