March 3, 2010 / 4:28 AM / 10 years ago

Viacom to drop Jon Stewart, Colbert Report from Hulu

Comedian Stephen Colbert opens the show at the 52nd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles January 31, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Blake

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Viacom Inc’s Comedy Central is withdrawing its popular comedy shows “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report” from online video service Hulu, a Hulu executive said on Tuesday.

Hulu’s senior vice president of content and distribution, Andy Forssell, said the company was unable to secure the rights to the popular shows from Comedy Central beyond March 9.

Hulu, jointly owned by General Electric Co’s NBC Universal, News Corp’s Fox Entertainment and Walt Disney Co’s ABC, said it was continuing to talk to Comedy Central.

Comedy Central had received a percentage of ad sales sold by Hulu, which offers programing to its viewers for free.

The impasse comes amid a series of high-profile disputes over programing fees between broadcast companies and the companies delivering the content.

ABC on Monday threatened to drop its shows from cable service provider Cablevision in a dispute over fees.

Fox and Time Warner Cable Inc had a similar disagreement but reached a deal on January 1, avoiding a blackout after months of negotiations.

Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Neil Fullick

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