Search form

Hulu Launches Wednesday

Hulu, the online video service from News Corp. and NBC Universal, officially launches on Wednesday with content from partners Warner Bros. TV Group and Lionsgate, among others, VARIETY reports.

The move out of beta to live will offer full-length episodes of 250 TV series and 100 full-length feature films, all supported by ads.

A few hundred additional titles will be available in clip or behind-the-scenes form.

The new site quadruples the amount of offered content, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar told VARIETY. The site has yet to complete deals with Disney/ABC, CBS and AMERICAN IDOL producers FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment.

New deals also include programming from NBA, NHL and NCAA Division I Men's Basketball, with original programming like PROM QUEEN and ONION NEWS NETWORK.

Warner content includes TV shows like STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP, TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, THE OFFICE, THE SIMPSONS and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER.

Movies include THE BIG LEBOWSKI, SOME LIKE IT HOT and MULLHLLAND DR.

Since the end of October, when Hulu went into beta, the site went from zero to 5 million views, with Hulu videos embedded 50,000 times on 5,000 sites, Kilar told VARIETY.

Advertisers include Unilver, State Farm, Best Buy, DirecTV and Nissan in two types of advertising formats.

One will let advertisers give viewers a choice of several spots, depending on their interest, and the other is geared toward theatrical markets and gives studios the rights to sponsor an entire viewing if the user agrees to watch a two and a half minute movie trailer. The rest of the episode can be watched without any commercial interruption.

Revenue-sharing agreements are already in place with AOL, Yahoo and MSN.

Hulu relies heavily on library content but has a search engine that allows users to look for any program on the Internet that will redirect to any site.

Kilar told VARIETY he is optimistic Disney and CBS will sign on to Hulu eventually.

randomness