If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. That’s a dominant sensibility in the new media side of the film and TV business, and Disney is the latest company to partner with the successful video portal Hulu. Disney (which owns ABC, among many other things) joins Fox and NBC in part ownership of the site. This means you’ll soon see ABC content mixed in with the assorted NBC and Fox programming (as well all those killer feature films, of course!). Video Business has more on the announcement and what to expect:
Once the deal closes, Hulu will begin streaming current ABC hits Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives and other current shows the day after they air on TV, mirroring Disney’s streaming strategy on ABC.com and other Disney sites. Disney also offers streams of its shows through distribution partners AOL, Fancast and Xbox Live, which it will continue to do. Hulu, along with Disney and its partners, will get an exclusive window for Disney content.
In addition to ABC primetime shows, Disney will also offer other current and library shows from ABC Daytime, ABC Family, the Disney Channel as well as “popular titles” from Walt Disney Studios to the site. The company hasn’t yet said what movies will be added. Once Disney content is added, Hulu will have TV shows from three of the four major networks. CBS doesn’t have a distribution deal with Hulu and streams its content at rival site TV.com, which it owns. In statements announcing the deal, top execs with Hulu, News Corp and NBC Universal said the addition of ABC programming would help drive even more viewers to Hulu.