It's Somewhat Official: Fox's New Online Content Policy Turns Hulu Viewers Into Pirates

Brad Chacos

Hulu’s good for stimulating more than multi-billion-dollar buyout bids ; as it turns out, the service can send impatient content-seekers to illegal P2P downloads in droves, too. Just a few weeks ago, we speculated whether or not Fox’s new eight day delay for online content would send those of you without a cable subscription to Pirate Bay , or if the online horde would patiently wait the extra week for their Family Guy fix. Well, the policy’s gone live, and it looks like online viewers aren’t the sit around and wait type.

The numbers comes courtesy of TorrentFreak , which conducted a limited study since Fox’s implementation of the new policy on the 15th. The website tracked torrents for Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef. The statistics were pretty conclusive: the download numbers for the newest episode of Hell’s Kitchen were 114 percent higher than they were for the previous three episodes. Even more people pirated MasterChef: the newest episode saw a 189 percent increase in download rates, although TorrentFreak notes that it was the season finale for the show.

Tens of thousands of people also streamed the show on YouTube rather than turning to P2P. Commenters have been thanking the uploaders on torrent sites and YouTube, whereas the criticism has been scathing on Hulu and Fox.com. Unfortunately, Hulu watchers don’t seem to know that the switch came at Fox’s direction. Most of the screams of rage target the streaming service itself. An example, from Hulu user Abby List :

“I just went through this sh!t with MasterChef, and I try to watch Hell's Kitchen and see I can't even watch the next episode? Hulu, you really need to consider a new marketing strategy. This is complete bullsh!t.

I don't even like these shows that much, I just liked the convience of watching them on Hulu. Now that Hulu's no longer convienent, I can honestly say (but not completely honestly because of your bullsh!t censoring even on a show that have people cussing and sleeping with each other) go f---- yourselves, you f------ sons of b------. Have some f------ respect for your f------ patrons. Jesus Christ.”

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