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Like Minds

April 30th, 2009 by Jason Kilar CEO

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Big day! I’m happy to announce that The Walt Disney Company is going to join us in our admittedly ambitious mission. The specifics are in the official release below.

As a Hulu team, we are over the moon for a number of reasons. Yes, we are excited to help audiences and great shows like Lost and Desperate Housewives find each other via Hulu. We also are excited at the many ways this can enable us to better serve advertisers. But perhaps most importantly, we are smiling big today because we are honored to be working with a company that quite frankly inspired us from the very start of Hulu. Walt Disney was a founder, an innovator, a person with an atypically high quality bar, and someone who was maniacal in his obsession to delight his customers. Hulu has always taken great inspiration in that example and the culture Walt Disney created (which Bob Iger and his team carry forward and push to new levels).

It is such a thrill to work alongside such a great team in Disney. I believe that cultural fit, that similar focus, is going to be the source of many good things to come for our users, our advertisers, and our content partners.

Big Day!

Jason Kilar ()
CEO, Hulu

DISNEY TO JOIN NBC UNIVERSAL, NEWS CORPORATION AND PROVIDENCE EQUITY PARTNERS AS AN EQUITY OWNER OF HULU

Full Episodes of Hit Current and Library Programs Like Lost, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Dancing with the Stars, Ugly Betty, Private Practice, Scrubs, Wizards of Waverly Place, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, General Hospital, The View, Greek, The Secret Life of the American Teenager And Other Hit Series From ABC, ABC Family, Disney Channel and SOAPnet To Come To Hulu.com and Its Distribution Sites

LOS ANGELES, CA – April 30, 2009 – Hulu and The Walt Disney Company today announced that Disney, through its subsidiary ABC Enterprises Inc., has agreed to join NBC Universal, News Corporation and Providence Equity Partners as a joint venture partner and equity owner of Hulu, a leading online aggregator of video content. Upon closing, the agreement will enhance Hulu’s programming line-up through the expanded online distribution of Disney’s most popular current and library primetime series and library feature films. In particular, full-length episodes of hit current and library programs like Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Private Practice, Ugly Betty, Scrubs, Greek, Hope and Faith, Less Than Perfect, Wizards of Waverly Place, Phineas and Ferb, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, General Hospital, The View and The Secret Life of the American Teenager will soon be streamed on Hulu on an ad-supported basis.

“From our landmark iTunes deal to our pioneering decision to stream ad supported shows on our ABC.com player, Disney has sought to meet the constantly evolving viewing habits of our consumers, and today’s Hulu announcement is the next important step in that ongoing journey,” said Robert A. Iger, president and CEO, The Walt Disney Company. “Disney 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.”

“We’re honored to welcome the Disney team in our mission to help people find and enjoy the world’s premium content, when, where and how they want it,” said Jason Kilar, CEO of Hulu. “With the addition of shows like Lost, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy and many more to Hulu, we continue to aspire to deliver a service that users, advertisers and content owners unabashedly love.”

Following the closing, content available to Hulu users will include:

  • • Full-length episodes of ABC primetime programs like Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty, Samantha Who, Scrubs, Private Practice and popular late night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live
  • • Full-length episodes of hit ABC Family series like The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Greek
  • • Popular series from ABC Daytime and SOAPnet like General Hospital and The View
  • • Classic series from ABC’s library like Hope and Faith, Less Than Perfect, Commander in Chief, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and Dancing with the Stars
  • • Select hit programs from Disney Channel like Wizards of Waverly Place and Phineas and Ferb which can be easily accessed from a new DISNEY location in the Channel section of Hulu.com
  • • Popular library titles from The Walt Disney Studios
  • • Short-form content including webisodes, sneak peeks and episode recaps from ABC Entertainment, ABC Family and SOAPnet

“Hulu, quite simply, now has the best premium content on the web,” said Peter Chernin, president and chief operating officer, News Corporation. “With three major networks and over 150 leading content providers providing content, combined with the best video user interface anywhere on the web, Hulu offers consumers the finest premium online video experience available today.”

“Hulu has shown that if you make quality content available on the web and combine it with an unbeatable user experience, viewers will come, and so will advertisers,” said Jeff Zucker, president and CEO, NBC Universal. “The addition of some of the best content Disney/ABC has to offer will only enhance Hulu’s standing as a top site for high quality video entertainment.”

Jonathan M. Nelson, CEO of Providence, said “Hulu is creating significant value for users, advertisers and content owners. This balance, together with aggregated professional content and an expanding base of over 200 brand advertisers, is establishing Hulu as a compelling online video monetization platform. Hulu is a bright spot in the new media landscape.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory review. As an equity partner, Disney will have three seats on the Hulu Board that will be held by Mr. Iger; Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group; and Kevin Mayer, executive vice president, Corporate Strategy, Business Development & Technology. All other current directors from News Corp, NBC Universal and Providence will remain on the Hulu board.

Last comment: about 12 hours ago 32 Comments
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  • Molly says:

    YAY! This is great. I actually stopped watching desperate housewives because I was never home when it was on and the abc player is disastrous! I would also like to join the chorus that CASTLE be available on hulu. Please?!?!

  • jen says:

    Camondraconis Says:
    May 1st, 2009 at 02:05 PM Thank god. ABC’s webplayer sucks.

    I DITTO THAT BIG TIME!

  • Cindy says:

    This is wonderful news, though one of my questions is, will the General Hospital episodes be -current- or will there be past episodes put up as well?

  • Kevin says:

    @Camondraconis: Actually ABC’s Move Networks player had seamless bit-rate switching before Adobe did. Adobe only caught up recently with FMS 3.5.

  • Ronen says:

    omg! you guys at the US are so lucky to have a website like hulu, please hurry up guys we want you to go worldwide already :)

  • Jeff says:

    Great news! I’m looking forward to having Lost on Hulu in case I miss a new episode on TV.

  • Deg says:

    Excellent news! I’ve had lots of problems trying to watch Castle on ABC.com’s player. Hulu’s interface is much better. :)

  • Anshul says:

    I have waiting for this to happen for a while and now it is finally happening. Jimmy Kimmel and Scrubs will now be added to my queue as soon as they come. Thanks Hulu!

  • Jerry says:

    that’s great news!

    two comments:

    1) abc was really high on their “click to continue” ad format. please tell me that this will not be making its way to hulu.

    2) abc’s hd player looks much better than hulu’s 480p player. are there plans to implement higher quality streams ala abc?

  • Jim says:

    This is good news. I have been trying for years to get ABC content on Hulu.

    Hulu has one feature that no other online site can offer and that is subscriptions and a queue.

    If you are new to Hulu please learn about how to subscribe to shows and get new content when it becomes available on Hulu. The experience you get is well worth the effort.

    Studios please allow Hulu to put up HD episodes of your shows. I hope Hulu starts integrating higher resolution feeds into it’s player. Not just in the HD Gallery.

    Thank you Disney and Hulu for making this happen.

  • BriHar says:

    This news has made my day! Thank you Hulu for having so many shows I want to see all in one place! I have watched so many things I previously passed up just because it’s on Hulu! This is the best website ever! I tell everyone about it even if they don’t want to listen!

  • Camondraconis says:

    Thank god. ABC’s webplayer sucks.

  • P says:

    Would still love to see it on Boxee. But your owners (or as Jason calls them to relinquish any personal accountability…”content providers”) have a seemingly inexplicable issue with allowing people to enjoy the programs in any sort of social context by banning it from Apple TV.

    If you really want to be “Maniacal about delighting your customers”, you might think about not taking extensive steps to block them from your service when they want to watch your programming with others on their television.

    The great news is that your viewership would massively increase and more eyeballs would be watching your commercials, which would help to “better serve your advertisers”

  • LLLucas says:

    This is great news!! Thanks to Hulu for creating a great service and continuing to improve it. ABC.com’s advertisement player simply was not designed to play tv shows, and I will be happy to watch lost without having to click the ads SIX TIMES to watch a show. I was worried that ABC’s backwards video player would mean that tech would start working backwards until we were back using apple 2GS’s and playing oregon trail. There is hope for the future! Huzzah!!

  • gregf says:

    Wow this is great. Congrads!

  • Ax says:

    Whoopdeedoo. I was also one of the early beta testers, or at least I signed up for it and was offered a link for HULU. I lived in Japan, so I can’t access it. It still is only accessible by US IP’s. I’d like to access HULU but now I live in S. Korea, and still can’t get it. Why do you have to block foreign IP’s? Seems like pure greed to me.

  • Jill says:

    Finally! I am so excited to see these networks join forces with hulu. While any online content is great – it is even better to have all shows in one place.

  • Glauco says:

    Hello staff of Hulu, I very much appreciate the site for you,
    I would like and whether it can free access to
    me, I can not open the videos. Thanks

  • shelly says:

    Pye, each show you watch will have its sponsors and their ads will air online during short breaks in the episode.

    Will ABC’s new shows from this season be on Hulu, too? It would be good to have someplace to catch up with Castle since abc.com doesn’t have all the episodes on its player.

  • bfdeg says:

    When? “Soon” isn’t a very comforting answer, why can’t we learn when it’s coming? And why hasn’t Viacom become part of Hulu yet, since they already stream on their own sites and are a part of Fancast.

  • Pye says:

    Great news, but a question: How does Hulu.com stand to make a sustainable profit in an imminently shrinking global ad market by offering essentially a free service online?

  • Andrew says:

    Thank you HULU, you’ve made my day.

  • BJ Wanlund says:

    I have a sneaking suspicion that the episodes of Dancing With The Stars that will be up on Hulu within the next few weeks (pending the deal) will be only from PREVIOUS seasons of the show, and it won’t be current episodes from this season.

    Also, my hope is that Hulu & ABC will have Castle up on Hulu very soon.

    One other question: Is CBS going to come over here now? I’d love to have some of the CBS shows up here that maybe won’t be available only on CBS.com.

    BJ

  • When can we expect to see their shows start streaming?

  • Sentry says:

    Wonderful news for Hulu! As a user since the closed beta stages im glad this site has been a great sucess. I would love to see user generated content next, like perhaps user videos reviewing shows/movies at first then growing into a real community of sorts.

    One step closer to world domination, as baldwin would say. :p

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