You play with fire and you'll get burned. Fox, which recently delayed new episodes of TV shows from streaming on Hulu until 8 days after they've aired, has already seen a spike in piracy for those shows.
Fox's dumb system works like this: if you're a Hulu Plus or Dish Network subscriber, you can watch your favorite TV shows on Hulu the next day. If you're not, you'll have to wait 8 days to pass until you can catch it on Hulu. Uhm, 8 days is a hellish time to wait in the world of TV (you're already two episodes behind!). Take something good and easy away and people are inevitably going to find "alternative ways" to watch it. Specifically, Torrentfreak is reporting that:
During the first 5 days, the number of downloads from the U.S. for the latest episode of Hell's Kitchen increased by 114% compared to the previous 3 episodes. For MasterChef the upturn was even higher with 189% more downloads from the U.S. For MasterChef; the extra high demand may in part have been facilitated by the fact that it was the season finale.
Let's see. Fox thinks Hulu is screwing their TV ratings so Fox makes it harder for people to watch their shows on Hulu. Fox thinks people will sign up for Hulu Plus or watch the show live on TV. Fox doesn't realize no one will watch on Fox, no one will wait for Hulu because everyone will just pirate it and give Fox even less than what they were getting with Hulu. Fox is dumb. [TorrentFreak via GigaOM]