Providence’s Nelson Predicts Stewart, Colbert Will Return To Hulu

Jonathan Nelson, the CEO of Hulu-backer Providence Equity Partners, made the case for the video aggregator on Charlie Rose this week. His response to Viacom’s decision to pull the The Colbert Report and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart from the site: “Before we sit down next they’ll be part of Hulu. It’s a dispute not over the merits of Hulu … It’s a commercial dispute if you will — they want more for their content.”

One other noteworthy moment: Nelson doesn’t quite say that Hulu is about to charge for some content, as is widely expected, but does say that an advertising plus paid model works best to support premium content.

Staci adds: One of the best parts for those of us who have been following Hulu since its ClownCo days is when Rose asks Nelson, “Why you?” Nelson joked, “(then-NewsCorp.COO) Peter Chernin said the same thing, “What do I need you for?” Nelson said GE and News Corp (NYSE: NWS). didn’t need PE’s money. “We could raise the probability of success.” How? By adding an outsider to a model that doesn’t usually work when it’s done in house. For one reason, “You don’t get the best talent because what entrepreneur is going to join General Electric?” What he didn’t mention: how very much News Corp and NBC wanted to be able to value Hulu at $1 billion pre-launch, something PE’s investment made possible. Full clip after the jump.