Hulu, the NBC-Fox-Disney online TV portal, has signed a slate of content deals ahead of an international launch.
According to the Financial Times agreement has already been reached with Digital Rights Group, the producer of Channel 4 comedies Green Wing and Peep Show, and ITV’s Doc Martin. A separate agreement with Endemol for reality shows Anything for Love and I Want To Be A Hilton. The first season of Green Wing has already been made available to US residents.
Hulu says it is working on launching its portal, so far restricted to the United States, in the top six to eight TV markets. With the UK Competition Commission having vetoed Project Kangaroo, the nightmare scenario for the UK broadcasters is the entrance of Hulu, and the acquisition of programmes originally produced for their channels by the independent sector.
However, Hulu is also seeking access to content directly from ITV and the BBC to offer to its US audience.
The long form Hulu was originally conceived by NBC Universal and Fox as a means to take on the shorter video clips of YouTube. Disney joined the two broadcasters and Providence Equity Partners at the end of April.