×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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

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.

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.

More Digital

  • Etika-Desmond-Amofah

    Gaming YouTuber Desmond 'Etika' Amofah Found Dead, NYPD Says

    Desmond Amofah, a YouTube gaming vlogger known online as “Etika,” was found dead by New York police on Tuesday after he was reported missing last week. He was 29. Amofah posted YouTube videos and live-streams focused on Nintendo games and other titles. A body later confirmed to be Amofah’s was found in the East River on [...]

  • Paula Pell

    Quibi Orders Comedic Murder Mystery From Lorne Michaels, 'SNL' Alums

    Quibi keeps shelling out cash for content: Jeffrey Katzenberg’s richly funded startup has ordered a short-form murder-mystery comedy written by and starring former “Saturday Night Live” writers Paula Pell and John Lutz, and executive produced by Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video alongside Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker. In “Mapleworth Murders,” Pell (pictured above) is Abigail Mapleworth, [...]

  • View of the Public Library on

    New York City Public Libraries Drop Kanopy Free Movie-Streaming Service

    Kanopy suffered a blow with the decision by New York City’s three public library systems — collectively the biggest library system in the U.S., with some 210 branches across the Big Apple — to drop the free movie-streaming service, citing high costs. As of July 1, the New York Public Library and the Brooklyn and [...]

  • Cameo

    Celebrity Video Greetings Service Cameo Raises $50 Million

    Cameo, a service that works with celebrities to sell personalized video greetings to fans, has raised a $50 million Series B round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins. The Chernin Group, Spark Ventures, Bain Capital and Lightspeeed Venture Partners participated in the funding as well. Cameo wants to use the cash infusion to grow both [...]

  • Gena Konstantinakos - Topic

    Topic Hires Viceland's Gena Konstantinakos as VP, Development and Video Programming

    Topic, First Look Media’s entertainment studio and digital destination for original content, hired veteran producer Gena Konstantinakos as VP, development and video programming. Konstantinakos hails from Vice Media’s Viceland cable channel, where she was executive producer, development and current series. At Topic, she reports to Ryan Chanatry, general manager of Topic. Konstantinakos is tasked with [...]

  • Martin Kon - YouTube

    YouTube Hires Consultant Martin Kon as VP of Strategy

    Google’s YouTube tapped Martin Kon, who has worked as a tech, media, and telecoms consultant for more than two decades, as VP of strategy. Kon, based at YouTube’s headquarters in San Bruno, Calif., reports to chief business officer Robert Kyncl. Kon will work with YouTube senior execs to help formulate the long-term vision of the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content