Hulu made its name by providing time-shifted access to one of the web's largest libraries of television shows. For tonight's second presidential debate in the U.S., Hulu will also introduce live streaming. The feed will be provided by NBC and Hulu will make a recording of the debate available after the broadcast. It is not clear if Hulu will expand these live offerings to other events, though with the infrastructure in place, we will probably see Hulu stream other political and sporting events in the future.
After this second debate, Hulu will also live-stream the third debate, which will be produced by FOX News. Hulu is jointly owned by NBC Universal and News Corp., which gives Hulu access to both NBC's and Fox's coverage of the debates and also explains why Hulu did not cover the first presidential and the vice-presidential debate.
There seems to be a trend among online video sites towards live streaming. Joost, which just debuted its web-based offerings, is also planning to add live streams to its service in the near future. The U.S. presidential election in particular seems to be a catalyst for live streaming. All the major U.S. networks will carry the debate live on their own web sites, and bothCurrent.tv and MySpace will provide live streams.