Streaming Services Increase Pressure on TV

The assault on traditional TV continues. While things over in the Netflix camp have been relatively quiet (their last big news was that Breaking Bad Season 4is now available for streaming) Hulu has continued to announce new shows.

For instance, last week Larry King returned to the small screen with the launch of Larry King Now on Hulu. King says (on Hulu's blog) that it was the capturing of Osama Bin Laden that convinced him to come out of retirement. When coverage was all over the airwaves and King wasn't part of it, he missed the rush and knew he had to get back in the business.

Dramatic story, but I'm not sure how it fits in with his first guest being Family Guy's Seth MacFarlane. We'll see what kinds of guests King on Hulu can draw.

Hulu has also announced its first international co-production. It is partnering with the BBC to produce a fourth season of satirical comedy show The Thick Of It. If, like me, you're unfamiliar with the series you'll be happy to learn that Hulu will start running the first 3 seasons on July 29. PaidContent has more info.

Stepping away from Hulu, Sony has announced another streaming app coming to the Playstation 3. This time it's The Laugh Factory. This app will offer stand-up routines from the Hollywood-based comedy club of the same name. It goes live on September 1 and will be free for all PS3 owners until December. After that it'll cost $3/month.

Some PS3 owners seem to be skeptical of that monthly fee. I'm not much of a comedy fan (anyone will tell you I have no sense of humor) so it's hard for me to judge the value. That seems pretty cheap even if a lot of the content can be found for free by searching YouTube or wherever. The convenience of having it all queued up on the PS3 seems like it'd be worth $3 to me, but I guess we'll see. More info is available on the Playstation Blog.

The other day I speculated that perhaps Sony was ramping up their video streaming efforts in response to Microsoft doing the same. Three new channels (NeonAlley, CrunchyRoll, and The Laugh Factory) in three days is a good start.

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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