Although episodes of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report will remain online at TheDailyShow.com and ColbertNation.com respectively, the move is still significant because it's the first big break between Hulu and content owners, and it may suggest that putting content on Hulu is not worthwhile for content owners that don't have an equity stake in the site, as NBC, Fox, and ABC do.
It's also a serious loss for Hulu, as the two shows are consistently two of the most popular on the site. Hulu had this to say in a statement:
In the past 21 months, we’ve had very strong results for both Hulu and Comedy Central, in terms of the views and revenue we’ve generated, thanks to a couple of key trends. First, more and more of our viewers have voted with their time by making these shows a regular part of their day. And second, we’ve driven steadily increasing revenue per view as advertisers voted with their budgets to take advantage of innovative ad formats and very strong advertising effectiveness. After a series of discussions with the team at Comedy Central, though, we ultimately were unable to secure the rights to extend these shows for a much longer period of time.
The shows will be pulled from the site at 11:59 p.m. PST, next Tuesday, March 9.
— Erin Barker, Digital Content Reporter, Cable Digital News