Hulu To Launch In The UK In September 2009?

Free video on demand service Hulu could come to the UK as early as September with thousands of hours of content from America and from UK partners like ITV and Channel 4.

Emma Barnett, Technology Correspondent from The Telegraph, says that senior staff close to the deal are trying to get commercial broadcasters ITV and Channel 4, which were left high and dry after the early demise of Project Kangaroo.

The pet project which was spearheaded by BBC Worldwide, was essentially killed by the Competition Commission over the possibility that it could have been too powerful for the good of the nascent UK video on demand market.

Chances are that BBC Worldwide could also join it. After all, if it is partnering with Youtube, nothing would prevent the commercial branch from joining the two other commercial channels.

However, talks appear to be stalling over the control of the advertising sales generated by the content. Hulu, as the platform owner, wants to manage this closely, but both companies are reluctant to do so.

Hulu is backed by News Corp, NBC Universal and Disney and could become a significant competitor overnight to both BBC's iPlayer and Sky's online player. Maybe they should look into adding Channel 4, ITV and BBC Worldwide as shareholders.

Meanwhile, Youtube has already announced that it will be extending its partnership with BBC Worldwide as well as distributing full length UK TV shows.

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Our Comments

Hulu is already available in the UK (and indeed everywhere) if you use proxy or any other similar services although, officially, it is not available outside the US. The guys at Hulu need to have a hard look at themselves; the service has been a great success until now but if it needs to grow at the same pace that it did in the last few months, it will need to take hard decisions.

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