Hulu Ditches UK Plans

NOON -- Hulu LLC has put its plans to launch a UK version of the site on hold indefinitely after failing to make any content deals in the country, The Telegraph reports.

According to the report, which quotes (unnamed) "several senior broadcasting executives," negotiations with ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5 still aren't panning out after nearly a year. ITV prefers to work on its own online video service, ITV Player, instead of farming out its content to Hulu; and Channel 4 and Channel 5 don't like the idea of Hulu selling ads around its content.

Of course, The Telegraph is the same news outlet that reported last August that a deal between Hulu and ITV was "weeks away." But Ben McOwen Wilson, ITV's director of online and interactive, did give the paper this telling quote last month:

"Hulu is a major success in the US but the UK TV market is a different place. It is much more consolidated, which means there are fewer online locations than in the US, which users need to visit to get access to their favourite content -- therefore there is less need for aggregators."

Hulu's UK aspirations aren't necessarily over for good though. A "source close to Hulu," told The Telegraph the company "remains hopeful that it can have a UK presence in the future -- when the broadcasters realise they need to be more flexible with their business models.”

In other news:

  • In contrast to Hulu's retreat, Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) is apparently preparing to move beyond the US, as it has started a search for a "Director Product Management, International." There's no word yet on where exactly Netflix is hoping to expand.

  • Police have identified the man who sold the next-gen iPhone prototype to Gizmodo for $5,000, CNET reports. The man has been interviewed by the San Mateo County district attorney's office, but his name has not yet been released and it's not yet clear whether he was the same person who found/stole the phone.

    — Erin Barker, Digital Content Reporter, Light Reading Cable

  • digits 12/5/2012 | 4:38:09 PM
    re: Hulu Ditches UK Plans

    I think you'll find this is, in a small way, the Brits retaliating for the influx of Oreo cookies that are now clogging up the supermarket aisles all over Britain, and Hulu just happened to be the U.S. company that caught the backlash. 

    Without those 'biscuits' (as we call 'em over here) Hulu just might have managed some content deals...

    erinbarker 12/5/2012 | 4:38:08 PM
    re: Hulu Ditches UK Plans

    You're only hurting yourselves.

    Why not enjoy the Oreos? I wouldn't complain about an influx of Ribena or Mr. Kipling's Bakewell tarts!

    digits 12/5/2012 | 4:38:07 PM
    re: Hulu Ditches UK Plans

    We've got TV/video outlets aplenty, and we certainly don't need any more cookies.


    Ribena and Mr Kipling (who does make exceedingly good cakes, it must be said) are mere side shows -- what you folks need Stateside is a very large shipment of HP sauce. I don't know how y'all manage to eat all those fried breakfasts and burgers without it -- I'm bringing my own supply the next time I row across the Atlantic (too much ash in the stratosphere to risk planes any more).

    Larry, Monkey 12/5/2012 | 4:38:06 PM
    re: Hulu Ditches UK Plans We've got HP Sauce, thank you very much, at least in the posher establishments. What we lack is Marmite.
    Michelle Donegan 12/5/2012 | 4:38:04 PM
    re: Hulu Ditches UK Plans

    I'll send you some!

    No complaints about the Oreos here. Or the Reese's peanut butter cups for that matter.

    Larry, Monkey 12/5/2012 | 4:38:03 PM
    re: Hulu Ditches UK Plans

    OK. But only if it comes with a Jesus inside.

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