Hulu is set to add shows like “Lost,” “Ugly Betty,” and “Desperate Housewives” to its premium inventory as The Walt Disney Company, following a month of rumored negotiations, finally signs a deal to become a partner and equity owner in the site.
Disney, which owns ABC, joins NBC Universal, News Corporation and Providence Equity Partners as owners of the popular video-aggregating site. If the deal closes, Hulu will have access to the video from three of the major TV networks, which CEO Jason Kilar called a significant step in its “mission to help people find and enjoy the worldÃÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½s premium content, when, where and how they want it.”
ABC will presumably continue to stream its shows on its own site, but if the deal mirrors those signed with News Corp and NBC, Hulu will be the exclusive off-site channel for ABC programming for at least two years.
A recent report from IPG media unit Magna predicted a 32 percent increase in online video ad spending this year, and cited the need for more top-tier inventory. The report stated that advertisers were hesitant to spend money on user-generated content and were looking for more opportunities to sponsor professional video.
ÃÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½Disney and Hulu share a focus on delivering the highest-quality entertainment experience and we look forward to working with Hulu to build value for our consumers, our brands and our shareholders,” Robert A. Iger, Disney president and CEO, said in a written statement.
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