Hulu Ditches UK Plans

NOON The site has abandoned efforts to launch a UK version, The Telegraph says

April 28, 2010

2 Min Read
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

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