Hulu just jumped the shark.

The fast-growing video site -- bankrolled by News Corp.'s (NYSE: NWS) Fox, Disney's (NYSE: DIS) ABC, and General Electric's (NYSE: GE) NBC Universal -- doesn't realize it yet. But its announcement this week that Viacom (NYSE: VIA) will pull popular Comedy Central programming from the site may be an early indication. A week from today, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and older library content will no longer stream through Hulu.

That's a big loss for the site, which has quickly established itself as the top dog in licensed television content. Hulu is second only to Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) YouTube in serving up online video.

Why is Comedy Central leaving after less than two years on the site? Hulu doesn't seem to believe that it's only about the money.

"We've driven steadily increasing revenue per view as advertisers voted with their budgets to take advantage of innovative ad formats and very strong advertising effectiveness," Hulu's Andy Forssell explained in a blog entry last night. 

Maybe things would have been different if Viacom had joined Hulu as a stakeholding partner, along the lines of Disney. Maybe Viacom feels that its own streaming is enough. In the end, this is a pretty brutal blow to Hulu, if consumers can't count on finding some of their favorite shows on the site.

Only a few weeks ago, chatter began to build that Hulu might move to a pay model. If Google's rude awakening on that front isn't enough to ice those plans, its inability to retain hit shows undoubtedly will be.

Hulu will continue to attract a boatload of network content and advertising dollars. However, the days of expecting one hub to showcase most of the studio shows worth watching are over. And that's tonight's word.

Is this the beginning of the end of Hulu? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz finds himself spending way too much time on YouTube and Hulu, at the expense of spending more time away from the television itself. He does own shares in Disney. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool's disclosure policy is feared by bears everywhere.