ABC-Disney joins the Hulu family

04.30.09 9 years ago


Hulu, that alien plot to siphon up human brains, has added another enticing lure, welcoming The Walt Disney Company to the fold.

It was announced on Thursday (April 30) that Disney, through a subsidiary of ABC Enterprises Inc., will join NBC Universal, News Corporation and Providence Equity Partners as a joint venture partner and equity owner of Hulu.

That means that Hulu users will soon be able to get ABC, ABC Family, Disney Channel and SOAPnet content. That will include popular ABC primetime shows like “Lost” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” soaps like “General Hospital,” plus shows from ABC’s library including “Hope & Faith,” “Less than Perfect” and “Commander in Chief.” We assume that ABC will also unearth some shows from its library that people actually want to watch.

“From our landmark iTunes deal to our pioneering decision to stream ad supported shows on our 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,” says Robert A. Iger, president and CEO, The Walt Disney Company in a statement. “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.”

Adds Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, “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. 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.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory review and will give Disney three seats on the Hulu board, which will go to 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.

Bigwigs from Hulu founders NBC Universal and News Corp. are happy to welcome Disney to the online streaming fold.

“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,” says 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.”

Adds Peter Chernin, president and COO, News Corporation, “Hulu, quite simply, now has the best premium content on the web. 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.”

The official announcement didn’t give a timetable for when, exactly, the deal will close and ABC shows will migrate to Hulu.

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