Hulu streaming to require authentication

April 30, 2012 at 6:19 PM

NEW YORK, April 30 (UPI) -- Streaming video service Hulu says viewers will soon have to prove they are a pay-TV customer to watch their favorite shows, sources told the New York Post.

Under the new "authentication" model viewers would have to log in with their cable or satellite TV account number to view programming on Hulu, the Post reported.

Other streaming services are also making it harder for those "cutting the cable" to stream television shows and other content.

Fox, owned by News Corp., is reportedly in talks with Comcast on a TV Everywhere deal that will require authentication, and Comcast is expected to switch to an authentication model for this summer's Olympic Games.

The increasing move to authentication is being driven by cable companies and networks wanting to protect and profit from their content in the midst of drastic shifts in home viewing habits, analysts said.

While overall spending on home entertainment edged up 2.5 percent to $4.45 billion in the first quarter of 2012, digital streaming reportedly had a five-fold increase.

Authentication is seen as helping cable companies because it could slow "cord-cutting" by making a cable subscription more attractive, industry analysts said.

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