‘The Daily Show’ Disappears From Hulu as Viacom Deal Expires

trevor noah the daily show
Courtesy of Comedy Central

Looking to watch the latest episode of “The Daily Show?” Then don’t try your luck on Hulu. Comedy Central stopped uploading new episodes to the video service this week, and is now telling viewers on Twitter to catch Trevor Noah’s latest on its website instead.

The reason for this: A broad licensing deal between Comedy Central parent Viacom and Hulu has expired, and Viacom is now pulling its content from the streaming service. Shows like the “Chappelle’s Show,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and “@midnight” have already disappeared from the site entirely, while remaining catalog episodes from “Tosh.0,” “The Daily Show,” and other shows from Viacom networks like MTV and Logo are set to expire soon.

Not impacted by the removal are a handful of shows including “South Park,” “Inside Amy Schumer,” and “Broad City,” for which Viacom and Hulu have struck exclusive licensing deals. Hulu will also keep streaming past episodes of a couple of Viacom catalog shows, including “Key & Peele,” “Jersey Shore,” and “Catfish,” for which it has also licensed on an exclusive basis.

Spokespeople from Viacom and Hulu both acknowledged that the agreement had expired; Viacom’s spokesperson reiterated that consumers will be able to watch “The Daily Show” and “@midnight” on its own site and apps.

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Viacom CEO Bob Bakish hinted at this development during last week’s earnings call, telling analysts and investors that “SVOD is not going to be a significant part of our affiliate revenue” going forward, and that the company would be “highly selective in striking agreements with over the top distributors” in the future.

Bakish’s declared goal is to “reinforce the pay TV ecosystem,” which essentially means that the company is looking to make more money with selling its entire pay TV bundle.

He went on to praise new entrants like Sling TV and DirecTV Now as “catalysts for innovation,” but the message was clear: Going forward, Viacom wants to double down on its bundle, and be more selective with SVOD licensing deals. This also means that “The Daily Show” and other shows taken off Hulu now won’t be back on the service any time soon.

Interestingly, those new internet TV entrants also include Hulu, which is set to launch its pay TV service in the coming months. Hulu has said that it wants to charge consumers $40 for a base package. The company has announced partnerships with Fox, Disney, CBS, and Turner for its live TV service, but has yet to say whether it wants Comedy Central and other Viacom networks as part of its bundle.

Given the $40 price tag, one has to wonder whether Hulu can make those numbers work if it were to include Viacom’s package of 20-plus networks. And Hulu wouldn’t be alone to offer a skinny bundle without Comedy Central & Co.: Sony’s Playstation Vue internet TV service decided to drop Viacom’s networks entirely in November.

At the time, Sony painted this as a way to keep the price of the Vue bundle down, declaring in a statement: “As part of our ongoing evaluation of the PlayStation Vue offering, we have determined that removing the bundle of channels from Viacom is the best way for us to continue to offer the most compelling value to our fans.”

Part of Viacom’s problem is that “The Daily Show” isn’t nearly as popular under Noah’s helm as it used to be when Jon Stewart anchored the show. The number of viewers who caught the show on TV was down 27% in 2016 when compared to 2015.

Comedy Central has countered this narrative by pointing out that viewing across digital platforms has grown significantly; multiplatform streams were up 57% following the election, thanks largely to huge numbers on Facebook and YouTube.

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  1. Max says:

    I didnt know that hulu no longer have the daily show. Now you think I want to pay 40 dollars for a service that dont include my favorite show? NEVER GONNA HAPPEN! What was appealing to me when I first ot hulu was it was priced right at 7.99. I even stayed after the price went up to 11.99. I have 2 different hulu accounts and I liked that it included a lot of things that I liked. NOW YOUR BEHAVING LIKE THE CABLE COMPANY I RAN FROM TRYING TO FORCE THINGS ON ME THAT I DONT WANT! GOOD LUCK WITH THAT …..I UNPLUGGED FROM THE CABLE COMPANY AND NOW IM GONNA UNPLUG YOU TOO!

  2. Matthew says:

    They say “DIRECTV now” is a catalyst for innovation yet still hasn’t let you Log in to the Comedy Central and other Viacom Apps with the “directv now” credentials, even though its available for normal Directv subscribers.

  3. Dana S. Austin says:

    without the daily show, I really have no reason to have hulu. I watch it at work. Trevor Noah is AWESOME! I hope they find a way to bring it back!

  4. BJ says:

    I recently retired and never had time to watch TV .Then I started to watch the Daily Show. Trevor made my day. I am sorry that he was canceled. I don’t know who was responsible and don’t really care, all I know that it’s just a shame. I don’t have cable because it is too expensive for me. So by by Hulu if you start charging $40..

  5. JSA says:

    Well, see ya later, Daily Show. I’ll keep Hulu and continue loving John Oliver on HBONow. Greedy-ass Viacom

  6. not a good move, i would rather go back to regular TV before i pay HULU $40/month. TV is not that interesting with the internet showing all kinds of funny interesting stuff. I might also be time to start reading again.

  7. Mark Cosenza says:

    Very Disappointed in this decision to remove The Daily Show from Hulu. I now watch on the application but have to sit through ads now.

  8. Ben Shuman says:

    I want Daily Show back on Hulu. It must be Hulu cancel time!

  9. Al Pa says:

    il wait til its b ack on hulu…. i just dont care enough to care… il still watch south park where i can, but i just do not care for paying for tv service caus were poor, so internet it is, and hulu, and netflix, and i wont pay for youtube red, il watch thier commercials, but if they charge for youtube then they will lose nearly all thier viewers very quickly

  10. Mental1981 says:

    This is just what happens with Greed-based economies. Viacom has been making radical moves over the past two to three years. Hulu itself isn’t innocent either. These companies all start out cute, fresh and innocent. Over time, they fire the dreamers and bring in the swamp rats from Wall-Street to run things. Before you know it, you’re back in the Cable-Bundle days all over again, except now you have to pay for the internet/cabling to your house as well. You can pay $40 for basic Cable, or you can pay $40 for internet and an additional $40 for internet TV (Sling, PSVue, now Hulu, etc.) Soon YouTube will no longer be free.

  11. Janet says:

    Hey Viacom, If you want customers to use the the Comedy Central app, then you need to include Sling in the TV service stations when validating the use of the app.. How can it be that I pay to watch Comedy Central on Sling but I’m not validated to watch Comedy Central app???

  12. Jeremy Alexander says:

    If it isn’t on something online, I won’t watch it. Cable is done and over. I haven’t had cable for almost 15 years and I’m never going back.

  13. Sean says:

    If they don’t bring back The Daily Show then I think we should boycott.

  14. Hughena says:

    Hulu is getting worse and worse. All I watch on it are very old TV shows – the movies are crap and the TV shows are all on regular TV. I only opened the account because they said they had a particular show in their advertising, and then, they did not have it. I kept it open for the very old TV shows but even that is running out.

  15. Jenn S says:

    I don’t understand, aren’t most of MTV’s and Comedy Central viewer younger with no cable TV? Isn’t Cable TV going the way of the dinosaur? There must be some moneymaking reason not to renew with Hulu. I’m sad because I loved my shows without the commercials on HUlu, so I won’t be going to their webpage to view my Daily Show. I’ll go to Youtube!

  16. june K says:

    What idiot is running Viacom these days – tRump? They’re doing their shows and their viewers a disservice with these stupid tactics.

  17. Jillian Hadley says:

    This just means I’ll watch it on youtube instead, cause that can be streamed to my tvs… I can not imagine how removing it from hulu will help viacom…but I also can’t think of any other viacom shows we would want, so, no way are we paying for a bundle of them.

  18. Gei says:

    I am so disappointed that TDS is not on Hulu! It is one of the few shows that I watch on Hulu. Greed is a bad thing and both Hulu and Viacom are at fault. I’m not paying for cable because it is too expensive and I refuse to pay $40 a month to watch Hulu. That’s insane! Trust me when I say that thinking people will move on without you. I love the show but I can live without it like I’ve learned to live without cable tv. More and more people are dropping cable every day. Netflix will become my venue if Hulu decides to drive up its prices. Pay attention you greedy outlets, you will make yourself irrelevant if you don’t change your way of thinking. The market will not bear your pipe dreams of gauging customers just to watch a tv show.

  19. Brendon says:

    I’ve slowly been migrating my watching from Hulu to Netflix. This is just speeding the move up. I really have zero interest in any sort of “linear live TV”, so certainly won’t move to that. I watch shows I want on demand and cut the cable years ago… it is amazing how quickly shows you can’t get stop existing from your point of view.

    Netflix seems to get the future with its original content. All I now miss is streaming sport.

  20. Brooke says:

    I’m genuinely upset that Trevor Noah’s Daily show got taken off of Hulu, I looked forward to watching it every morning! Bring it back!

  21. The Daily Show and @Midnight were the main reasons I have Hulu. And now I can’t re-watch Drag Race, either. Hulu is about to go, but guess what, Viacom, I’m still not buying a cable bundle.

  22. Bob Athey says:

    Done BYE HULU Canceled TODAY…Only had ya for These two shows BYEEEEEEE

  23. Carlton Schaps says:

    Viacom are such greedy SOBs. They want to squeeze every cent possible out of viewers. At least this iteration of the Comedy Central app sucks less.

    I hope Hulu keeps its day after service because my schedule does not allow me to watch TV live-which is why I have Hulu.

  24. Liz says:

    Great HULU. Keep chasing customers away. I left after the CW pulled their shows. I can’t speak for all of Comedy Central, but I know me and my co-workers discuss The Daily Show in the mornings. And don’t forget, many of us work and go to school, so we watch the show after it has aired which I am sure does not give you guys the “real time” numbers that you want to justify. Numbers show which age groups Trevor Noah appeals to. I loved Jon Stewart too, but let’s admit that his crowd eventually would be aged out.

    • Carlton Schaps says:

      The streaming services seem to have forgotten that the reason most people use their services is that they can’t watch TV live. Hulu’s over the air service is useless to me because I’m not home during the time these shows are.

      Plus, I already have to have cable to have Comcast internet. I don’t need another live cable service.

      • Jillian Hadley says:

        I’m not sure why you are blaming hulu, daily show being removed from hulu is clearly viacom’s fault, not hulu’s fault.

  25. T-Shane Roberts says:

    Come On…..I need my Daily Show Back. PLEASE! I like about 3 shows. Come on. We need TDS back….I said Please!!!

  26. schofielddea says:

    The decision makers at Viacom are idiots. Pure and simple. Many of us just can’t afford cable any more. Cable–which you pay for and yet STILL have to sit through a ton of commercials. Many of us only watch a few shows–so Hulu is a great service for us–otherwise, we don’t watch. Greed is going to destroy them. Bad, bad move, Viacom.

  27. Carol Dillon says:

    I was furious earlier this week when I realized I they weren’t uploading new episodes of The Daily Show. I called Hulu and asked what was going on and that I would be dropping their service. The rep gave me the runaround and said he thought it was just a contract negotiation issue and gave me 2 weeks free to see if it got resolved. Now I see this article and realize first, that it’s Viacom’s fault, but second that The Daily Show is not coming back. I will quit Hulu since it’s the only show I watch regularly on Hulu, but it makes me feel sad for them, since it isn’t their fault. It also makes me feel sad for Trevor Noah because he has indeed really been hitting his stride lately. Fuck Viacom! And now EVERYONE loses because of their slimy greed. #ViacomSucks

    • Jillian Hadley says:

      They aren’t raising your prices, they are offering an 3rd option, for live tv, which I also will not pay for, but I will continue paying for commercial free hulu day after.

    • Unknown says:

      Stop playing the greed card, you have no clue how businesses actually work!

  28. Jacqueline C Miranda says:

    Well This is really sad because I always looked forward to watching the Daily show and hulu has been the only way to do so. Well at least now I know it wasn’t canceled.

  29. Yuri Jacked says:

    LOL- Viacom is busily making it impossible to watch their programming. I started Hulu because they were dropped from PS Vue. Oh well, Viacom needs to learn there is a tidal wave of programming out there to watch- they won’t be missed.

  30. April says:

    Dammit!!! TDS was one of the main reasons we got Hulu. Watching it via broadcast has way too many commercials. Now we know why there aren’t any new episodes. The website streaming via my tablet isn’t great, but it’ll have to do. Greedy Viacom! Boo!!

  31. Dee Ozker says:

    Wait…WHAT? Comedy Central Shows are why I signed up for Hulu. I signed up for a better package because of the upcoming season of Rik & Morty. I’ve been catching TDS daily — Hulu, FTW?

  32. I’ll be sorry to see these shows go, but I will not be following them elsewhere.

  33. tcurts17 says:

    It’s unfortunate for Trevor Noah. I “cut the cord” and casually watch select shows via Hulu, including the Daily Show because it seems Trevor has found his footing. – he’s been pretty witty. I won’t pop open my laptop to watch shows because I am, like many viewers, a casual viewer. I will miss watching Trevor, but it won’t be that bad. It’s unfortunate for him because he’s been working to bring up his viewership and doing a pretty good job in my opinion after the expected drop when Jon Stewart left.

  34. bbock says:

    Viacom really wants to cut their own throat. Maybe they didn’t get the memo: Cable TV is DYING.

  35. Greg Blajian says:

    Good riddance. Viacom is over priced for the content they deliver as it is. They could give it to us for free and we still would not watch. There just isn’t any compelling content on any of their channels.

  36. Forbes says:

    Screw people like Viacom CEO Bob Bakish, these are the people who would burn down the country before having any vision as to how to make it better. Taking Daily Show off of Hulu will both devalue Hulu who is about to implode with it’s higher than cable OTA pricing and kill the Daily Show which is already down dramatically. We were just making OTA work driving people away from cable then CBS starts pushing everyone to think they are gold as always the arrogant f$%ks. Thanks to corporate greed Comedy Central is now just a joke itself, The irony.

  37. jlschmugge says:

    I was wondering why all of a sudden all the @midnight episodes were expiring.

    Over a year ago Viacom blocked Comedy Central streams just because the cable company my internet was through (mind that I don’t pay for broadcast cable) did not strike a licensing deal with Viacom. Viacom pushed SpongeBob avatared pop ups on CC’s site over streams saying it was the cable company’s fault, hoping you don’t notice it’s not the cable company who is blocking the streams. What struck me, is not only they blocked me as a viewer, but they are also limiting viewership for their advertisers. It seemed childish. I stopped watching Daily show that year because of that.

    You are a dinosaur Viacom. Things have been changing, and the longer you fight it, the more you make yourself irrelevant, and the more headaches you are creating for consumers who just simply want to enjoy programming, not be burdened with three-figure cable bills with 1000 channels of nothing, interrupted every five minutes for a five minute commercial break. Once your less tech-savvy traditional audience dies out, these newer generations just don’t care to put up with that garbage. Hulu and Netflix are doing right by making entertainment a pleasant, convenient, and affordable experience. I don’t think cable will stop trying to dominate, and prefers to keep us in the stone ages paying high prices for poor quality. Cable is a behemoth that needs to be drowned in the sea.

  38. The14th says:

    Damn it, the CC streaming absolutely sucks and I can’t even pay to skip the commercials like on Hulu!

  39. Amanda Bell says:

    I only want to watch the Daily Show and nothing else from Comedy Central. I don’t like watching the Daily Show on Comedy Central’s website because the streaming quality is bad. I have Hulu+ and barely watch anything on it as is, though same with Netflix, though I’m not much of a t.v. person and only watch a handful of shows. This blows.

    • Dunstan says:

      Amanda, you can watch the Daily Show whenever you want, just like you can watch any other television show when you want. Online. For free.

      Simply type in the name of the program followed by the phrase “online free.” Voila. This works for sports events, including premium pay per view boxing.

      • jlschmugge says:

        I’m with Jim: that’s an easy way to end up having to reinstall Windows. I used to do this before Hulu, and it’s a little shady, even with good antivirus software. At best it’s a lower quality experience than the channel’s own website.

      • jim gerard says:

        These free offerings often come with spyware and other unwanted things put into your computer.

  40. hcshannon says:

    First they dropped free service, now this!

    • Jen says:

      This totally sucks! I “cut the cord” and the number one reason I have Hulu is for “The Daily Show.” Without “The Daily Show,” I could easily drop Hulu and not miss it. And that’s b.s. that the ratings have something to do with this. Viacom is trying to get back customers like me. Well, that’s not going to happen when I have to pay a ridiculous amount of money for cable and Internet service when there’s only one or two good shows to watch at any given time amongst tons of garbage. It’s cheaper for me to just buy the show on iTunes.

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